Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 37

DOL – EFAST2

Solicitation No. DOL069RP20266


Questions and Answers
This document transmits the Government’s response to clarification questions received in response to
the EFAST2 RFP (DOL069RFP20266). Please be advised that only questions received after the release
of the RFP on September 1, 2006 through September 22, 2006 are included in this list. All questions
that result in an administrative change to the RFP will be addressed in a subsequent Amendment to the
RFP. The due date for the submission of proposals remains November 13, 2006 as stated in the RFP.

Technical Questions

1. Reference: Section C.1.1 Overview

Question: Does the DOL have any specific preferences or direction for commercial off-the-shelf
(COTS) packages or custom software architectures (i.e., Net vs. J2EE)?
Answer: No.

Question: Are there any mandated software packages required for this solution?
Answer: No.

2. Reference: Section C.1.1.1 Project Goals and Objectives

Question: Does the Government have any information (projections) on how many accepted filings
will need to be amended annually?
Answer: No, there are no projections available on the number of accepted filings that will need to be
amended annually.

3. Reference: Section C.1.1.1 Project Goals and Objectives

Question: The Government expects EFAST2 to “Process over 1.1 million Form 5500 returns/reports
submitted annually to the Government.” C.1 Background indicates that current volume is 1.1 million.
Does the Government expect EFAST2 to scale to a specific number by Option Year XI? If so, will the
Government provide expected volume numbers for each Option Year?
Answer: The Government does not have an estimate of the specific number of filings by Option
Period. Please refer to Attachment A for historical filing volumes.

4. Reference: Section C.1.1.1 Project Goals and Objectives

Question: Objective 7 states that the system will “replace the original EFAST technology.” What, if
any, aspects of this original system must be migrated to the new system (e.g. existing account logins)?
Answer: There are no aspects of the original system (EFAST) that require migration to EFAST2.
However, refer to Attachment O.3 for potential future enhancements related to EFAST legacy data
storage. Attachment O contains a series of value-added EFAST2 potential enhancements that are not
required by the Government at this time but may potentially have an impact on the architecture and
flexibility of the Offeror’s proposed solution.
5. Reference: Section C.1.1.1 Project Goals and Objectives (page 10 of 242)

Question: Paragraphs 5 and 6 state that other Government agencies such as the SSA, the Bureau of the
Census, and the Federal Reserve use Form 5500 data to meet significant statutory and regulatory
requirements. While these agencies are mentioned in this paragraph, they do not appear elsewhere in
the document and no requirements for their interfaces are specified. Do these agencies have a
requirement to connect and have direct access? If so, what are the detailed interface requirements for
these agencies? How often do these agencies require access? How current must that data be for their
access? Is there a requirement for these agencies to write to the file? What is the level and complexity
of these agencies’ access to the data?
Answer: The SSA, Bureau of Census and the Federal Reserve do not require direct access to EFAST2
for their respective agency data needs but will satisfy their data needs through interagency data
transfers from DOL, IRS, or PBGC.

6. Reference: Section C.1.1.1 Project Goals and Objectives (page 10 of 242)

Question: The final paragraph states that “EFAST2 will be based on the latest proven technology
appropriate to the work of this contract.” Will the Government provide a clarification on the qualifier
“proven” as it relates to the system?
Answer: The term proven is intended to convey that the proposed technology is widely accepted
within the systems community as appropriate for a system based on XML data interchange.

Question: Is there a list of desired or acceptable “open source” technology that are considered
“proven”?
Answer: The Government does not have a list of desired or acceptable “open source” technology that
are considered proven. As EFAST2 is a wholly outsourced system, the Government is looking to
Offerors to propose appropriate technology for an outsourced system that is based on XML data
interchange. As such, Offerors are free to propose technology that is appropriate to the task but bear
the burden of demonstrating that the proposed technology best meets the requirements of the contract.

Question: Would the following technologies be considered to be “proven” in the Government’s


opinion?
• Server hardware: 64-bit processor chips (e.g. Intel Xeon or AMD Opteron)
• Server Operating System: Red Hat Enterprise Linux AS, Windows 64
• Server Middleware: BEA AquaLogic Service Bus, JBoss Application Server
• Client: DHTML, Ajax
• Repository: MySQL (we assume Oracle is a proven technology)
Answer: Yes

7. Reference: Section C.1.1.1 Project Goals and Objectives (page 10 of 242)

Question: The final paragraph states that “The data elements and reporting format on Form 5500
returns/reports changes to some extent virtually every year in order. . . .” How many years of data are
required to be stored and online accessible?
Answer: The Contractor is required to store and make online accessible all filings processed by
EFAST2 from Option Period I (2nd component) through Option Period XI . Refer to Section C.14.10
for capacity requirements and Section C.16 for data retention and archival requirements. Section
C.14.10, second sentence, will be amended to read “The Contractor shall store and manage the full
number of plan years of filing data processed during Option Period I (2nd Component) through Option
Period XI.”

Question: Are data retrievals required that cut across years such that a cross-indexing is required for
all data elements that are stored in the database?
Answer: Not at this time. However, refer to Attachment O.1.2, Entity Establishment/Update Records
Processing; and Attachment O.9, Analyzing Longitudinal Filing Consistency, for potential value-added
enhancements to EFAST2 regarding cross-year data retrievals. Attachment O contains a series of
value-added EFAST2 potential enhancements that are not required by the Government at this time but
may potentially have an impact on the architecture and flexibility of the Offeror’s proposed solution.

Question: Are there occasions where the formats of the data elements across years are not compatible
and, as such, cannot be aggregated into a single database structure?
Answer: Although each plan year of data is typically very similar to the previous year’s data, there are
year-to-year differences in filing data. Refer to Section C.17.1 for requirements related to year-to-year
changes in filing data and the system changes required to accommodate such changes.

8. Reference: Section C.1.1.1, Project Goals and Objectives

Question: The third paragraph states that EFAST2 will provide data to partner agencies and lists the
following as examples: Dept of Labor (DOL), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Pension Benefit
Guarantee Corporation (PBGC), Social Security Administration (SSA), Bureau of Census, and Federal
Reserve. Can DOL please clarify if EFAST2 will be required to provide data to any partner agencies in
addition to those identified?
Answer: DOL, IRS, and PBGC receive data directly from EFAST2. No other agencies receive data
directly from EFAST2.

Question: Are there standardized data formats and data transport standards in place to support data
exchange with other agency systems? If so, what are they?
Answer: Yes. See Section C.15, Data Dissemination, and Attachment E, Interface Requirements
Document for data exchange requirements with DOL, IRS, and PBGC. No other agencies receive data
directly from EFAST2.

9. Reference: Section C.1.1.2 System Requirements Overview

Question: Paragraph 4 discusses Third Party Software Developer Support, stating that “approximately
90 percent of submitted forms . . . have been authored using certified third party software, . . .” Is this
statement currently true for both paper and electronic filers to date?
Answer: Yes. The 90% figure is the aggregate for all paper and electronic filings authored using third
party software. All of the electronic filings in the current EFAST system are authored using certified
third party software.

Question: The paragraph states that the Contractor will assist these developers to include “technical
support, testing, certification, and other ongoing support.” Is this support provided today at no cost to
these vendors?
Answer: Yes

Question: Are there any limits as to how much support or how frequently support is to be provided?
Answer: No
10. Reference: Section C.1.1.2, System Requirements Overview

Question: Are there any critical DOL or other agency systems that will impact our solution offering
(e.g., integration to these systems, existing agency product selection and direction, etc.)?
Answer: No

Question: Does the DOL have a policy regarding the use of opensource?
Answer: As EFAST2 is a wholly outsourced system, Offerors are free to propose technology
appropriate to the task as long as the requirements of the Contract are met.

Question: Must portlets be JSR 168 compliant?


Answer: There is no requirement regarding JSR 168 compliance.

11. Reference: Section C.1.1.2 System Requirements Overview

Question: Paragraph 8 discusses the Web Portal. Is there a requirement to provide interactive help
(e.g., online collaboration tools) so that users could interact with the contact center in real-time?
Answer: No

Question: Would the Government consider this a requirement or a “nice-to-have” enhancement?


Answer: The Government would consider this a “nice-to-have” enhancement.

12. Reference: Section C.1.2.1 Base Period (1st Component)

Question: This paragraph requires the Contractor to process a limited number of test filings. What is
the Government’s estimation of “limited number” of filings over what period of time?
Answer: The Government will supply the Contractor with up to 10,000 test cases to run through the
prototype, per Section E.8.1.1, Base Period FCT1 -- Prototype Test. Within 24 hours of receipt of
Government test filings, the Contractor shall accept and process Government supplied test cases
through the prototype/development system, per Section E.8.4, Government supplied test cases and test
execution.

13. Reference: Section C.1.2.1.3, System Design (page 21 of 242)

Question: The third paragraph states that the “EFAST2 Detailed System Design shall be a
Government-reviewed deliverable describing the technical design of all parts of EFAST2.” Does the
Government view that acceptance of the critical design deliverables, including the Final Detailed
System Design deliverable, represents an Implied Warranty of the proposed design and an
understanding that significant changes occurring after acceptance of the Final EFAST2 Design
deliverables may result in cost/schedule impacts in the Base Period and increased costs in the
Operational Option Periods?
Answer: The Government does not anticipate significant changes occurring after acceptance of the
design deliverables. See Section C.17.1 for requirements related to annual changes and Attachment O
for potential enhancements to EFAST2.
14. Reference: Section C.1.3.1.3

Question: [Our] security regulations do not allow for FTP traffic. Will DOL and 3rd party distributors
accept SCP or FTPS as an alternative?
Answer: No

15. Reference: Section C.1.3.1.3

Question: How many “PUSH” transfers are expected on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly basis?
Answer: Refer to Section C.15, Section F, and Attachment E for requirements related to the frequency
of push data distributions.

Question: What is the SLA for their timeliness and completeness?


Answer: Refer to Section C.2, performance standards 6.3 to 6.4, for standards related to “push” data
distribution timeliness and completeness.

16. Reference: Section C.1.3.1.3

Question: How many “PULL” transfers are expected on a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly basis?
Answer: The Government has no estimate on the number of pull distributions.

Question: What is the SLA for their timeliness and completeness?


Answer: Pull distributions are subject to performance standard 6.5.

17. Reference: Section C.1.3.1.3

Question: [Our] security regulations do not allow for FTP traffic. Will DOL and 3rd party distributors
accept SCP or FTPS as an alternative? (Government Note: Submitted as a duplicate)
Answer: No

18. Reference: Section C.2.1

Question: The days referenced within this section, are they business days or calendar days?
Answer: Calendar days.

Question: What are the business days for this system?


Answer: Calendar days unless otherwise noted.

19. Reference: Section C.2, Exhibit C.2.1 – Performance Standards (page 42 of 242)

Question: Standard Reference Number 8.6, Contact Center/Email Responses, states: “Queries
received by email or web form shall be responded to within n hours/days.” The column to the right
defines n as 24 hours during peak processing and 2 days during non-peak processing. We believe that
the peak and non-peak standards are reversed. Please clarify if n should be 2 days during peak
processing and 24 hours during non-peak processing.
Answer: Agreed. Section C.2, Performance Standard 8.6, column “n= Peak / Non-peak” will be
amended to read “2 days / 24 hours”.
20. Reference: Section C.2.1 (page 42 of 242)

Question: Regarding Standard Reference Number 8.3 (Contact Center / Calls Abandoned) will DOL
consider changing the standard to read “No more than n% of callers will abandon their call before
being answered, not to include callers who abandon within 30 seconds peak and 20 seconds non-
peak”?
Answer: No

21. Reference: Section C.2.1 (page 42 of 242)

Question: Regarding Standard Reference Number 8.2 (Contact Center / Service Level) will DOL
consider the following method in calculating Service Level?

SL = (#of calls answered within objective)/(#of calls answered + # of calls abandoned after objective)
where “objective” is 30 seconds peak and 20 seconds non-peak.

If this is not a suitable method, will DOL specify the formula they would like us to use to calculate
SL?

Answer: No. Please refer to Attachment I for methodology related to measuring the performance
standards.

22. Reference: Section C.2.1 (page 42 of 242)

Question: Regarding Standard Reference Number 8.6 (Contact Center / Email responses) will DOL
consider changing the metric to 2 days peak and 24 hours non-peak?
Answer: Yes. Section C.2, Performance Standard 8.6, column “n= Peak / Non-peak” will be
amended to read “2 days / 24 hours”.

23. Reference: Section C.2 – Exhibit C.2.1 Performance Standards – Standard Reference
Number 3.1

Question: Is the Maintenance Window limited to the Web/Portal non-availability periods of 3am and
5am (2 hours in duration?) and is this every day, weekends, and/or business days?
Answer: Every calendar day.

Question: If so, are there additional extended windows of opportunity to perform maintenance when 2
hours may not be adequate?
Answer: Yes. Section C.13 contains requirements regarding fault tolerance, daily required system
availability, and maintenance windows. Refer to Section C.13.1 for requirements related to fault
tolerance and downtime. Refer to section C.13.1.1 for requirements related to service availability.
Refer to Section C.13.1.2 for requirements related to planned maintenance, which provides the
Contractor the opportunity to request planned maintenance outside of the system availability hours.

Question: The System Availability refers to the “Web/Portal and all its supported features.” Does this
imply the “EFAST2 system” in its entirety or are there additional System Availability requirements for
other aspects of the intended system architecture or processing topology? If so, what these System
Availability requirements and which areas of the “EFAST2 system” do they apply?
Answer: No, just the Web portal and supported features must be available as required. Refer to
Exhibit C.2.1 Performance Standards – Standard Reference Number 3.1, which lists IFILE, IREG and
IFAS as being part of the Web Portal’s supported features. Refer also to Exhibits C.10.2 and C.14.1
for graphical illustrations of the web portal and its supported features.

24. Reference: Section C.2.1 Item 3.1

Question: Our Security and Change Management guidelines require longer maintenance windows for
periodic hardware, OS, and COTS maintenance of no less than 4 hours. Will DOL prefer to extend the
normal maintenance window or allow us a facility by which we can communicate planned
maintenance with sufficient lead time to allow us a 4 hour window versus the specification in the RFP?
Answer: No. Section C.13 contains requirements regarding fault tolerance, daily required system
availability, and maintenance windows. Refer to Section C.13.1 for requirements related to fault
tolerance and downtime. Refer to section C.13.1.1 for requirements related to service availability.
Refer to Section C.13.1.2 for requirements related to planned maintenance, which provides the
Contractor the opportunity to request planned maintenance outside of the system availability hours.

25. Reference: Section C.2.1 Item 3.1

Question: Our Security and Change Management guidelines require longer maintenance windows for
periodic hardware, OS, and COTS maintenance of no less than 4 hours. Will DOL prefer to extend the
normal maintenance window or allow us a facility by which we can communicate planned
maintenance with sufficient lead time to allow us a 4 hour maintenance window versus the
specification in the RFP? (Government Note: Submitted as a duplicate question)
Answer: See answer to Technical Question 24 above.

26. Reference: Section C.2.1 Item 7.1

Question: Our current Change Management guidelines require more lead time and testing prior to
ANY changes being deployed into controlled (Post Development) environments. Will DOL increase
this lead time requirement or will they absolve us of responsibility for any issues that may arise from
this shortened Change Lead time requirement.
Answer: Yes. Section C.2.1, Performance Standard 7.1, “n=Peak/Non-Peak” column will be amended
to read “2/2 [days].”

27. Reference: Section C.2.1 Item 7.1

Question: Our standard Change Management guidelines require more lead time and testing prior to
ANY changes being deployed into controlled (Post Development) environments. Will DOL increase
this lead time requirement or will DOL provide a waiver of responsibility for any issues that may arise
from this shortened Change Lead time requirement. (Government Note: Submitted as a duplicate)
Answer: See answer to Technical Question 24.

28. Reference: Section C.2.1 Item 7.2

Question: This is very close to our current change management lead time requirements. This is doable
assuming that we receive the request on
Government Note: Question incomplete as submitted.
29. Reference: Section C.2.1

Question: The days referenced within this section, are they business days or calendar days? What are
the business days for this system?
Answer: Calendar days unless otherwise noted.

30. Reference: Section C.2.2 Measurement of Standards

Question: Standard 6.5 Public Disclosure Queries/Response Time states that “. . . HTML pages
[should be] returned to client’s workstation within n seconds.”
Because neither the Government nor the Contractor has any control over the transmission media to the
client (e.g., DSL, T-1, cable, modem, etc.), would the Government consider changing the word
“returned” to “transmitted”?
Answer: Refer to Attachment I.6.5 methodology which clarifies the “starting transmission” end point
for measuring the performance standard.

31. Reference: Section C.2.2 Measurement of Standards

Question: Standard 8.6 Contact Center/Callbacks specifies the time parameters for callbacks. As
written, the standard requires callbacks in 24 hours during peak periods and 2 days during non-peak
periods. Will the Government please confirm the callback time parameters as currently shown in the
RFP?
Answer: Section C.2, Performance Standard 8.6, column “n= Peak / Non-peak” will be amended to
read “2 days / 24 hours”.

32. Reference: Section C.2.2 Measurement of Standards

Question: Can DOL give an example of what you would consider a static content change vs. a
dynamic content change?
Answer: Static content is content that should not involve programmatic changes, and would therefore
not need to go through a software Q/A cycle and testing. As an example, a static content change would
be updating a telephone number listed on the website where a dynamic content change would be
changing the returned data resulting from a search query.

Question: What is the intended mechanism for the content updates to be submitted and approved by
DOL personnel?
Answer: See Section C.10.2.11 for requirements related to web content review and approval
procedures.

Question: Will there be different approval processes for different pages and sections of the portal or
will all content changes be approved through the same workflow?
Answer: The same workflow will be used for all content changes.

33. Reference: Section C.3, Key Personnel

Question: This section allows for the proposal of additional key personnel labor categories “as
needed.” However, Section M assigns a total of 10 evaluation points for all of the additional labor
categories. Must Offerors propose additional categories?
Answer: No
Question: Will 10 evaluation points be awarded for each additional labor category?
Answer: No. 10 points total is the maximum number of points possible associated with all additional
labor categories.

34. Reference: Section C.3.3, Section C.3.6

Question: Are the key personnel referenced in C.3.3 those that are listed C.3.6? If there are others,
where are they listed?
Answer: Yes.

35. Reference: Section C.3.5, Experience Equivalency (page 43 of 242)

Question: This paragraph states that one year of specialized experience is an admissible substitute as
one year of educational experience. Conversely, can one year of educational experience serve as an
admissible substitute for one year of specialized experience (e.g., if an individual has a Masters degree
when only a Bachelors degree is required, can the additional years of education for the Masters degree
serve as a substitute for two years of specialized experience)?
Answer: The Government will consider additional educational experience, above and beyond the
level desired for the position, provided the educational experience is directly related to the position
requirements as specified the contract.

36. Reference: Section C.6

Question: Throughout the RFP there are references to a Tracking Database, Credentials Database,
Status Database and IREG Database. It is clear that these are separately identified and named for
purposes of requirements. Is it a technical requirement that these be separate databases?
Answer: No. It is not a technical requirement that these be separate databases. Offerors are free to
propose an appropriate database architecture to meet the database requirements of the contract.

37. Reference: Section C.6.2, Tracking Database and Records (page 55 of 242)

Question: The second paragraph states: “The Contractor shall distribute a snapshot of the tracking
database to support the requirements of government end user agencies, as described in Section C.15,
Section F, and Attachment E.” It is unclear if this is part of the periodic pushes or if it is only by
request as suggested by Attachment J, Section J.2.3 (page 8 of 14), which states: “Upon Government
request, the Contractor shall create a snapshot of the tracking database as of a specified date….” Please
clarify.
Answer: Both. The intent of the snapshot, if requested, is to verify production control reports and
performance standards (e.g. timeliness) at a specific point in time. The tracking database is intended to
be distributed regularly as part of the push data distributions. Section F and Attachment E will be
amended to clarify that the tracking database “push” distribution will occur monthly (not daily) to
EBSA and shall coincide with the tracking database version used by the Contractor to measure the
monthly performance standards.

38. Reference: Section C.9.3, Secured/Substitute Filings (page 57 of 242)

Question: C.9.3 states: “A secured/substitute filing is a filing submitted to the Contractor directly from
Government agencies, usually the IRS. These filings will be submitted using the IFILE application
described in Section C.10.5.” Attachment G, Section G.2.1, PATS Test Scenarios, indicates “At least
one scenario shall be a secured/substitute return.” If a secured/substitute filing is a filing submitted to
the Contractor directly from Government agencies, under what circumstances would third party
software produce a substitute/secure filing as indicated in the test scenario in Attachment G, Section
G.2.1?
Answer: Attachment G.2.1 will be amended to clarify that secured/substitute filings will be submitted
solely using the IFILE application.

39. Reference: Section C.10

Question: Are there limitations on the use of Open Source solutions and technologies such as software
tools, frameworks, and software infrastructure?
Answer: There are no specific limitations on the use of open source solutions, however Offerors
should indicate their source of support for the tools and infrastructure they use.

40. Reference: Section C.10

Question: Does the DOL mandate that its applications are deployed on a particular platform, for
example .NET or J2EE?
Answer: There is no platform preference, but IFAS should be able to accept submissions from both
Microsoft and Java SOAP clients.

41. Reference: Section C.10

Question: Would DOL consider obtaining from other government agencies that have implemented e-
filing solutions, (e.g., the FAFSA at the Department of Education, or EDGAR at the Securities and
Exchange Commission) the components of their architectures and solutions which would be usable for
EFAST-2?
Answer: Components in production elsewhere in the government are appropriate only to the extent
that they meet the stated EFAST2 requirements, which are explicitly stated in the RFP.

42. Reference: Section C.10

Question: To what capacity, if any, would we be involved in 2D barcoding on printable forms (as seen
on the 5500 2D forms)?
Answer: None. The 2D barcodes are used to capture data from scanned paper forms, which do not
exist in EFAST2.

Question: Would the E-FAST2 system require a feature to generate information into a barcode for
printed forms to be processed?
Answer: No. There are no paper inputs.

43. Reference: Section C.10.2, Web Portal (page 62 of 242)

Question: C.10.2 states: “The Contractor shall develop, host, and maintain a secure, current, scalable,
and user-friendly (as defined by such authorities on usability and accessibility as http://usability.gov
and http://w3.org) EFAST2 web portal. The portal shall allow users to access a broad array of EFAST2
resources and services at a consolidated location on the Internet. The Contractor shall develop the web
portal in accordance with all Government requirements regarding public websites including the OMB
Policies for Federal Public Websites, NIST publication 800-44 Guidelines on Securing Public Web
Servers, and the E-Government Act of 2002.”

Attachment N, paragraph N.1 requires that “The Contractor shall comply with all applicable
Government standards, codes, circulars, laws, directives, statutory requirements, and regulations as
cited by the contract and referenced by Attachment N.” Are the Web sites identified in Section C.10.2
to be considered standards “cited by the contract” with which the Contractor must comply, or are the
listed Web site addresses offered as guidance?
Answer: The web sites identified in Section C.10.2 are considered standards for purposes of the
contract.

44. Reference: Section C.10.2, Web Portal (page 62 of 242)

Question: Section C.10.2 states: “… The Contractor shall develop the web portal in accordance with
all Government requirements regarding public websites including the OMB Policies for Federal Public
Websites, NIST publication 800-44 Guidelines on Securing Public Web Servers, and the E-
Government Act of 2002.” Should the C.10.2 requirement to “develop the web portal in accordance
with all Government requirements regarding public websites including …” be understood to mean all
Government requirements regarding public websites which are cited by the contract and referenced in
Attachment N?
Answer: The Section C.10.2 requirement to “develop the web portal in accordance with all
Government requirements regarding public websites” will be amended to read “develop the web portal
in accordance with all Government requirements regarding public websites which are cited by the
contract and referenced in Attachment N including…”.

45. Reference: Section C.10.2.1, C.10.2.3.2 (Page 62-63)

Question: The last sentence of section C.10.2.3.2 states that “Authenticated access to the homepage
shall provide a direct link to all submitted filings for that individual”. Will the access to Portal
Homepage require authentication? If so, how can the general public (one of the users) access the
portal?
Answer: No, the portal homepage does not require authentication. A user may however optionally
authenticate into the portal homepage, and in doing so would be provided with additional services and
one-click single-sign on access to the other EFAST2 authenticated services. See Section C.10.2.4.

46. Reference: Section C.10.2.3.6

Question: Please clarify the requirements for Government Account logins versus web portal “My
Account” single sign-on login. In Section C.10.2.3.6 the conceptual web site seems to indicate that the
Government Account access will not be included in the Single Sign-On login solution. Is this the
case?
Answer: The conceptual site map (Exhibit C.10.2.1) in Section C.10.2.3.6 is intended to illustrate that
only Government users have access to certain functions.

47. Reference: Section C.10.2.4, Authenticated Access – My Account

Question: Is there a limit on the number of years a filing is accessible (online and/or offline) or are all
plan year filings retrievable indefinitely? What is DOL’s data retention policy?
Answer: There is no limit on the number of years a filing is accessible. All plan year filings must be
accessible for the duration of the contract. Refer to Section C.14.10 for capacity requirements and
Section C.16 for data retention and archival requirements. Section C.14.10, second sentence, will be
amended to read “The Contractor shall store and manage the full number of plan years of filing data
processed during Option Period I (2nd Component) through Option Period XI.”

48. Reference: Section C.10.3.1

Question: Are all the users required to apply for credentials?


Answer: Filing transmitters, signers, and web portal users must apply for credentials through IREG.
Government users obtain credentials outside of the IREG application process as described in C.10.3.4.

Question: Is it required to preload credentials of the existing EFAST system users?


Answer: No

49. Reference: Section C.10.3.3.2

Question: There is a discrepancy between Section C.10.3.3.2, which states "The ID is a unique
identifier that shall not be modified" and Section C.10.3.6.2, which states "This secure link will take
the user to a web page allowing the registered applicant to change their ID….” Please clarify whether
the User ID within the IREG system may be changed at any point during its lifetime.
Answer: The User ID may not be changed. Section C.10.3.6.2 will be amended to read “This secure
link will take the user to a web page allowing the registered applicant to view their ID, PIN, and/or
password.”

50. Reference: Section C.10.3.4 Paragraph 2 & 4

Question: Does this mean that the Govt. users can not apply for credentials using IREG?
Answer: Correct. Government users will not apply for credentials using IREG. See Section C.10.3.1
for a list of IREG applicants.

51. Reference: Section C.10.3.6.1, Section C.10.3.6.2 (page 77)

Question: What is expected of a contractor if large number of Change requests are received and is
considered as a Security incident?
Answer: A large number of change requests should be considered a potential breach of security. See
Section C.22.2.4 for procedures related to incidents and breaches.

52. Reference: Section C.10.3.7

Question: Does DOL have a list of all active filers who will be mailed the postcard?
Answer: DOL has a list of currently active filers. Because there are frequent changes to this list, DOL
will not mail postcards prior to the 4th quarter of 2008.

Question: How many postcards will be required to be mailed?


Answer: The Contractor is not required to mail postcards. Refer to Section C.10.3.7, which states
“Pending Government resource availability and contingent upon all necessary approvals, the
Government will, at its option, generate, address, and mail the postcards (including postage) to all
active plan administrators/sponsors.”
Question: Does DOL have e-mail addresses for these filers?
Answer: No.

53. Reference: Section C.10.3.7

Question: Is the “Kick-off” postcard an annual mailing or is it required at program start-up only?
Answer: Start-up only.

54. Reference: Section C.10.4

Question: What is the anticipated byte size of attachments submitted with the form 5500? Smallest?
Largest? Average?
Answer: The Government does not have this information. Attachments possibly could be very large.
Typically a PDF printed from Word or Excel may be around 10KB per page, and a PDF scanned from
paper may be around 50-100KB per page. It’s possible that a scanned 1000-page attachment could be
100MB or more. The RFP specifies a 2GB maximum size of a submission message. Refer to Section
C.10.4.1.

55. Reference: Section C.10.4

Question: Currently there are less than 30 approved software vendors (3rd party vendors). Is there a
list or anticipated number of potential vendors that will need to be certified?
Answer: No. However, the current list of approved third party software developers can be accessed at:
http://www.efast.dol.gov/software.html and is provided below for the Offeror’s convenience.

Peter Knox & Associates Intuit DataPath


Datair TaxWorks Universal Tax Systems
SunGard Corbel AccuDraft Paychex
CCH Fidelity Investments AXA Equitable
Blaze SSI Creative Solutions Flores & Assoc
STF Rhodes Computer Service Wolters Kluwer
CFS RIA Thomson MHM Resources
Ft. William ATX Benefit Innovations Inc.
Southland Principal Financial Group

Question: If not, will DOL entertain an upper limit of the number of 3rd party vendors the contractor
must support in the base line phase?
Answer: No

56. Reference: Section C.10.4

Question: Do the 1.1 million filings include only original and amended filings or does it also include
corrected filings? If corrected filings are included in this number, will DOL provide a breakdown
between original/amended and corrected filings?
Answer: The 1.1 million filings estimate represents original and amended filings only.

57. Reference: Section C.10.4.3.7


Question: As the contractor responsible for EFAST2, and transitioning to this web based system,
should we assume we're also responsible for www.efast.dol.gov?
Answer: No

58. Reference: Section C.10.4.4.1

Question: Is it the structure of submissions that multiple submissions in a batch will be submitted as
one SOAP message?
Answer: Yes, multiple filings MAY be submitted as a batch in one SOAP message.

Question: If so, would DOL consider breaking submissions into multiple messages with a header and
trailer SOAP message to create a batch envelope?
Answer: A transmitter may submit a batch of filings either as multiple web service requests or as a
single web service request. Each web service request has a single SOAP request message, as described
in C.10.4 and WSDL. The RFP states that Offerors may propose alternative WSDL and message types
if they can demonstrate superiority to those described in the RFP. But breaking a single filing
submission into multiple SOAP messages would not be considered consistent with the intent of the
RFP requirements.

59. Reference: Section C.10.4.4.1, Section 10.4.4.3

Question: Would an alternative WSDL schema be acceptable to address the following issue? Is it
correct to assume that some filings will have many, and in some cases large, attachment files?
Answer: Yes

Question: Are all attachments for a single filing to be included in a single SOAP message with the
form itself?
Answer: Yes, in the preferred MTOM schema described in the RFP. But if using SOAP with
Attachments, DIME, and other binary attachment mechanisms instead of MTOM the attachments may
be packaged outside of the SOAP envelope. This issue is discussed in the RFP and Offerors are
allowed to propose mechanisms other than MTOM for handling the attachments.

Question: If so, will DOL consider breaking the overall filing schema into a series of schemas and
operations that contain the header information about the filing, the body of the filing, and then
optionally attached attachments as individual messages in their own schema, followed by a trailer
message to close the overall transaction?
Answer: See answer to Technical Question 58. Offerors are allowed to propose such a thing, but this
would “break” many other EFAST2 requirements for IFAS processing. The burden on the Offeror of
demonstrating why this is superior to the stated EFAST2 requirements would be substantial. The
Offeror would be obligated to demonstrate that RFP requirements as stated in C.10.4 would not work.

60. Reference: Section C.10.4.5.1.5

Question: Is there a Government standard to be followed for managing virus definitions?


Answer: Yes. This is covered by security standards referenced in Section C.22 and Attachment N.
For example, NIST SP 800-83: Guide to Malware Incident Prevention and Handling, November 2005.
61. Reference: Section C.10.4.6.1, Step 6

Question: C.10.4.6.1 lists binary attachment validation to ensure that attachments are in Adobe PDF
format. What is involved in the validation step?
Answer: The Government has no specific requirements regarding how Offerors are to validate PDF
attachments. The Government’s expectation is that Offeror’s will propose an appropriate validation
technique, such as through a library provided by Adobe or a third party that can validate that the file is
a PDF.

Question: Is a corrupted PDF a valid PDF?


Answer: If the validation mechanism can detect a corrupted PDF, this should be considered an invalid
PDF (since the Government’s intent is to receive readable PDFs only). A PDF validation technology
that can detect corrupted PDFs has more value to the Government than one that cannot.

Question: Does valid mean the file opens in Adobe Reader without errors?
Answer: Probably yes in effect. But we are assuming that a library exists with a validation API, rather
than actually opening in Reader.

Question: Is there a set of validation checks that the Government can provide?
Answer: No. See above.

62. Reference: Section C.10.5.9 and C.10.5.15 (page 121, 123)

Question: Is the Test Filing Tool different from actual IFILE application?
Answer: Yes, the test filing tool also supports batch filing transmissions. See Section E.8.3 for IFILE
test filing tool batch transmission capability.

Question: Can the same IFILE application logged into non production environment be considered Test
Filing tool?
Answer: Yes, provided the test filing tool also supports a batch transmission capability.

Question: IFILE will not support batch submission of filing but Test Filing tool is required to support
batch submission of filing.
Answer: Correct

63. Reference: Section C.10.5.10 Software Architecture

Question: The last sentence in this section states that “each form or schedule shall be on its own page.
. . .” Since some of the forms are quite long (e.g., Schedule B), the requirement to display each form on
its own page would require that the user perform a significant amount of vertical scrolling as he/she is
working with the form. This required amount of vertical scrolling is not consistent with the usability
guideline referenced in Section C.10.2 that “The Contractor shall develop, host, and maintain a secure,
current, scalable, and user-friendly (as defined by such authorities on usability and accessibility as
http://usability.gov and http://w3.org) EFAST2 web portal.” In order to address the usability
requirement in Section C.10.2, would the Government remove the requirement for each form to be
presented on its own page as stated in C.10.5.10?
Answer: Section C.10.5.10 will be amended to clarify the subject requirement as follows: “Each form
face or schedule face shall be on its own page and shall be subject to Government approval.” Form
and schedule faces will be provided by the Government as part of Attachment D, Forms, Schedules,
and Instructions. Refer also to Section C.10.2.9.2 which states “All page images should fit into the
standard screen width. The use of vertical scrolling is acceptable.”

64. Reference: Section C.10.5.12

Question: Does the Government have a format preference for Web-Based Training?
Answer: No

65. Reference: Section C.10.5.12

Question: Is there any portion of the training materials that would be limited based on user role?
Answer: No

66. Reference: Section C.10.6, Attachment G

Question: According to (C.10.6.1 - C.10.6.2, Attachment G), the Offeror shall provide software
developer support to assist third-party software developers in authoring, preparing, and submitting
electronic filings to EFAST2. DOL states in the Form 5500 EZ instructions that www.efast.dol.gov
provides a list of approved software vendors. However, this website has been down for some time
making it difficult to see the comprehensive list of approved vendors. For assurance that all current
approved vendors are given adequate support during the development and operation of EFAST 2, will
the government provide a list of the current approved vendors via other means?
Answer: The current list of approved third party software developers can be accessed at:
http://www.efast.dol.gov/software.html and is also provided below for the Offeror’s convenience:

Peter Knox & Associates Intuit DataPath


Datair TaxWorks Universal Tax Systems
SunGard Corbel AccuDraft Paychex
CCH Fidelity Investments AXA Equitable
Blaze SSI Creative Solutions Flores & Assoc
STF Rhodes Computer Service Wolters Kluwer
CFS RIA Thomson MHM Resources
Ft. William ATX Benefit Innovations Inc
Southland Principal Financial Group

67. Reference: Section C.10.6.3 Third Party Software Developer Conference

Question: This section indicates that this conference is to be an annual event throughout the life of the
contract. It may be difficult for any Contractor to anticipate cost escalation factors to host this
conference during the out years. Was it the Government’s intent that all costs associated with this
conference be included in the FFP basis for the applicable Option Years to include vendor hotel, meals,
travel, etc.?
Answer: Yes. However, the Contractor is not responsible for attendees’ hotel, meals, and travel, just
the costs of hosting the annual event and expenses related to the Contractor’s personnel attending the
annual event.

Question: Will the Government please clarify their expectations as to location, number of
presentations, number of attendees, conference duration, and applicable cost components to be
included in the associated FFP for applicable Option Years?
Answer: Offerors should propose conference accommodations and characteristics that will best
ensure an effective conference. Annual Third Party Software Developer Conferences currently
offered in EFAST are held in different cities across the lower 48 states each year, have approximately
20 attendees, and last 6-8 hours.

68. Reference: Section C.13.2 Load Balancing, Backup, and Restore

Question: This paragraph requires off-site storage of media. Where is the media currently stored off-
site?
Answer: Media for the EFAST system are stored in an environmentally protected off-site storage
location in Kansas.

Question: Does this contract mandate the use of the current off-site pickup, delivery, and storage
contract?
Answer: No. The Offeror is responsible for proposing a stand-alone EFAST2 off-site storage
arrangement that is wholly independent of the EFAST arrangement.

69. Reference: Section C.15 Data Dissemination

Question: Bullet 3 requires that Government users be allowed to download Contractor-constructed


files from a secure site through a secure telecommunications medium. Because “secure” means
different things in different situations, would the Government clarify the definitions of “secure site”
and “secure telecommunications” medium and, specifically, what Federal standards are applicable to
each?
Answer: See Section C.22 and Attachment N for security requirements and standards related to
telecommunications and websites. Also see Section C.10.2.4. for authenticated web portal access
encryption requirements and Section C.13.7 for security infrastructure requirements.

70. Reference: Section C.15.2.4.1, Fonts (page 156 of 242)

Question: This paragraph states: “All alphanumeric type data fields must be printed in upper case.” It
is our understanding that for many alphanumeric fields, the output format must copy the input value
exactly, which may contain lower-case letters.
Answer: Section C.15.2.4.1 will be amended to read “All alphanumeric type data fields must be
printed in the manner specified by the DER output specifications.”

71. Reference: Section C.15.3.4, Files Pushed to Government (page 157 of 242)

Question: Please define the terms “daily” and “day” as used in the context of “every day” for both the
Web portal activities and Contact Center activities (i.e., calendar days or business days).
Answer: All references to days should be considered “calendar days” unless otherwise noted.

72. Reference: Section C.15.3.4, Files Pushed to Government (page 157 of 242)

Question: C.15.3.4, Files Pushed to Government, states: “Daily, the Contractor shall develop filing
output and tracking database records according to static Government specifications in Attachment E
and push those files to DOL, the IRS, and PBGC.” IRD 2.3, EFAST2 Files Delivered to PBGC,
Attachment E (Page 15 of 58) and Section F indicate the PBGC push is weekly. How often are files to
be pushed to the PBGC? Please clarify the discrepancy between C.15.3.4 and Attachment E and
Section F.
Answer: PBGC files are to be pushed weekly per the requirements in Section F and Attachment E.
Section C.15.3.4 will be amended to read “The Contractor shall develop filing output and tracking
database records according to static Government specifications in Attachment E and push those files to
DOL, the IRS, and PBGC.”

73. Reference: Section C.15.3.4, Files Pushed to Government (page 157 of 242)

Question: The first sentence of C.15.3.4 indicates: “…filing output and tracking database records…”
IRD B.29, “Tracking Record Layout,” Attachment E (Page 56 of 58) - The IRD does show a “TBD”
structured tracking record, however no tracking database information is specified in the
ProcessedFiling schema [IRD A-2, Attachment E, Page 22 of 58]. Is any tracking database information
part of the XML-formatted push, or only part of the structured data push?
Answer: The tracking database is only intended to be distributed in the format of a structured data
push per the Attachment E requirements. Section F and Attachment E will be amended to clarify that
the tracking database “push” distribution will occur monthly (not daily) to EBSA and shall coincide
with the tracking database version used by the Contractor to measure the monthly performance
standards.

74. Reference: Section C.15.3.4, Files Pushed to Government (page 157 of 242)

Question: C.15.3.4 states: “…The Contractor shall ensure each pushed file is a reasonable file size for
uploading and downloading. …” C.10.4.1, Overview, page 80 of 242, states: “The Contractor shall
establish the maximum allowable size of a batch filing submission web service request to be 100
filings or 2 gigabytes (GB).” Can the Government provide guidance as to what file size it considers “a
reasonable file size” that is consistent with the decompression tool capabilities and size limitations of
the agencies receiving the pushed files?
Answer: The Offeror should propose a reasonable file size.

75. Reference: Section C.15.4.1, Tracking Application (page 159 of 242)

Question: C.15.4.1 states: “Downloaded tracking record files shall be formatted as described in
Attachment E.” Please confirm that the Attachment E reference should specify IRD Section B.29.
Answer: See answer to Technical Question 73.

76. Reference: C.17.1, Annual Forms and Legislative Changes (page 162 of 242)

Question: The fourth paragraph states: “Typical forms changes in the Form 5500 Series reports from
plan year to plan year are generally minor, as are the related changes to schema, edit tests, and related
system functionality. The Contractor will be responsible for implementing a typical level of no-cost
annual rollover changes into all components of the production system at no additional cost to the
Government, within the prescribed schedule for rollover, and with no disruption or downtime in the
production system.” How does the Government define “a typical level” of no-cost annual rollover
changes? “Typical Level” of annual rollover changes is an unbounded requirement. One ER provided
by the Government as part of the EFAST no-cost 10-10-10 Rollover package contained an estimated
$3.5M worth of system changes. Please define “a typical level.”
Answer: See Exhibit C.17.1, which documents forms changes for plan year(s) 2002, 2003, and 2004.
77. Reference C.18 Contact Center, Attachment S

Question: Can DOL provide a statistical history for e-mail and web form inquiries into the existing
EFAST contact center, similar to those provided in Attachment S for calls?
Answer: The existing EFAST contact center does not support email or web form inquiries.

78. Reference: Section C.18 Contact Center

Question: This section references an IVR with associated volumes in Attachment S. Can DOL
elaborate on what business functions are performed by the IVR today?
Answer: The current IVR system offers callers the option to be connected to an operator, access
frequently asked questions and answers, and leave a voicemail for each of the subject areas. The
subject areas for inquires are: edit test correspondence (not applicable to EFAST2), confirmation of
receipt of filing (automated function), software developers, electronic filing, and End User assistance.
In addition the IVR provides general news announcements such as hours of operation, including
holiday hours.

79. Reference: Section C.18.2 Service Tickets (page 170 of 242)

Question: Contact Center hours of operation are specified to be 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Eastern Time, in
Section C.18.11. Section C.18.2 lists desired distribution methods of Service Tickets to Contractor
staff, which include “paging.” Paging is typically associated with after-hour technical assistance. Is the
Government expecting 24x7 technical assistance staffing of the Contact Center?
Answer: No, 24x7 technical assistance staffing of the Contact Center is not required.

Question: If not, please clarify the intent of the paging requirement.


Answer: Paging is considered a desired distribution method regardless of hours of operation.

80. Reference: Section C.22.1.3 Security Requirements for Non-disclosable Information (page
203 of 242)

Question: C.22.1.3 states: “… The Contractor shall minimize the risk of employees browsing Form
5500 and schedule data in accordance with the Taxpayer Browsing Protection Act. The Contractor’s
plans for physical and data security shall be part of the management controls. The Contractor shall use
operational controls, such as monitoring of live phone calls or reviewing of filings, to monitor the
protection of SBU information.”

C.22.1.4 states: “… For Security Compliance Reviews and security inspections, the Contractor shall
allow Government officials, auditors, or other Government representatives as designated by the COTR
to monitor live employee phone contacts, review return files, conduct disclosure and privacy reviews,
and review conformance with major information security concerns expressed in this contract.”

Do the requirements for the Contractor to monitor live phone calls and to allow the Government to
monitor live employee phone calls as part of Security Compliance Reviews and security inspections
extend beyond Contact Center phones? Please clarify.

Answer: No
81. Reference: Section C.22.1.4

Question: Does DOL expect that each phone call be recorded and stored? If so, is this only for the
call center or for all Contractor staff? What is the duration that these recordings are to remain
available to DOL for auditing purposes?
Answer: No phone call recording or storage is required.

82. Reference: Section C.22.2.1

Question: Does DOL disallow the use of open source software?


Answer: There are no specific limitations on the use of open source solutions. As EFAST2 is a
wholly outsourced system, the Government is looking to Offerors to propose appropriate technology
for an outsourced system that is based on XML data interchange.

83. Reference: Section C.22.2.3 Boundary Protection

Question: This paragraph does not list the Social Security Administration (SSA), The Bureau of
Census, or the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB), which are stated in the Overview as users of the EFAST
data. Will the Government clarify boundary protection requirements for SSA, the Bureau of Census,
and FRB?
Answer: The SSA, Bureau of Census and the Federal Reserve do not require direct access to EFAST2
for their respective agency data needs but will satisfy their data needs through interagency data
transfers.

84. Reference: Section C.22.3.1 Personnel Clearance Procedures

Question: This paragraph requires a Minimum Background Investigation (MBI) for all participants.
Will the Government accept an active DoD security clearance (i.e., Secret or Top Secret), and/or other
Federal Government Agency Security clearances, and/or Personal Identification Verification (PIV)
clearances in lieu of the MBI?
Answer: There is a DOL procedure for security clearance transfers that is based on receipt of letter of
clearance (LOC). It is the Contractor’s responsibility to provide LOC before the employee begins
work on the contract.

85. Reference: Section C.22.3.3, Personnel Full Clearance (page 209 of 242)

Question: C.22.3.3 states: “… The Contractor shall pay the price (estimated to be approximately
$450.00 per individual) of the investigation for each person.” The current cost of an MBI investigation
is $550. Does the Government expect the cost of an MBI investigation to decrease in the future?
Answer: Section C.22.3.3 will be amended to replace the statement “… The Contractor shall pay the
price (estimated to be approximately $450.00 per individual) of the investigation for each person.”
with “… The Contractor shall pay the price (see http://www.opm.gov/extra/investigate for Federal
Investigative Services Billing Rates) of the investigation for each person.”

86. Reference: C.22.3.6 Security Compliance Agreements

Question: Would the Government replace references to “confidential” and “Federal Confidential
Data” in the indicated references with “For Official Use Only (FOUO)”?
Answer: Offerors are instructed to follow the stated requirements of the contract with regards to
packaging and labeling.

87. Reference: Section C.22.4.2.3

Question: Does DOL require continuity of service (COOP) on the Toll-Free number and Contact
Center?
Answer: Yes

Question: If so what are the COOP Requirements?


Answer: See Section C.22.4.2.3 for contingency planning requirements.

88. Reference: Section C.25

Question: DOL repeatedly references our CMMI L3 practices. We have not yet had a completed
CMMI L3 assessment. Is this a problem?
Answer: Refer to Section C.19.11, SEI/CMMI Level. The requirement reads as follows: “The
Contractor shall be assessed at CMMI Level 3, and shall apply Level 3 assessed processes to EFAST2.
Proposals from organizations that do not meet this requirement should be accompanied by detailed
identification and analysis of the gap between proposed processes and CMMI Level 3 guidelines as
justification for the suitability of those processes for EFAST2.”

89. Reference: Sections E.4.1 and E.4.2

Question: Will the Government’s inspection (and acceptance) of submitted Final Management and
Technical deliverables be limited to (and based upon) confirming that Government comments provided
to the Contractor on the associated Draft deliverables have been adequately addressed and properly
incorporated into the Final?
Answer: Offerors are instructed to follow the stated requirements of the contract with regards to
inspection and acceptance.

90. Reference: Section E.7.3 (page 8 of 16)

Question: What are the requirements for “TRANS-CD”? This variable is not defined in the RFP,
except perhaps as TC “Transaction Code” in Attachment M, page 10 of 12, which does not define its
requirements. This variable does not appear in any structured output records defined in the IRD
Appendix B.
Answer: Section E.7.3 of the requirements will be amended to delete the TRANS-CD variable check.

91. Reference: Section E.7.3 (page 8 of 16)

Question: What are the requirements for “TRANS-DATE”? This variable is not defined in the RFP.
This variable does not appear in any structured output records defined in the IRD Appendix B.
Answer: Section E.7.3 of the requirements will be amended to replace the TRANS-DATE variable
with the SUBMITTED-DATE variable.
92. Reference: Section E.7.3 (page 8 of 16)

Question: What are the requirements for “RECORD-TYPE-CODE”? This variable is not defined in
the RFP. This variable does not appear in any structured output records defined in the IRD Appendix
B.
Answer: Section E.7.3 of the requirements will be amended to delete the RECORD-TYPE-CODE
variable check.

93. Reference: Section E.7.3 (page 8 of 16)

Question: It is unclear what is meant by the phrase “first record” in the last bullet on page 8, which
states: “Form 5500 Series record must be present and must always be the first record for a filing.”
Answer: Section E.7.3 of the requirements will be amended to delete the “first record” check.

94. Reference: Section F

Question: We assume that we will provide both PDF and Online Help deliverables for all Users’
Guides, as is our standard practice. Is this acceptable to the DOL?
Answer: Refer to Section F.4 for delivery medium requirements for all documentation deliverables.
Refer to Section C.10.5.3 and C.15.7 for user guide requirements and online availability.

95. Reference: Attachment A

Question: Can the Government provide some statistics on expected attachments?


Answer: The Government does not have this information. Refer to Attachment A for Form 5500
filing historical volumes information.

Question: What percentage of submissions contain one or more attachments?


Answer: The Government does not have this information. Refer to Attachment A for Form 5500
filing historical volumes information.

Question: For submissions that contain at least one attachment, what is the average number and size of
attachments?
Answer: The Government does not have this information. Refer to Attachment A for Form 5500
filing historical volumes information.

96. Reference: Attachment E, IRD 2.1.1, EBSA XML Return Transaction File (page 7 of 58)

Question: Should the EBSA “File Name” (P260xx01) be identical to the PBGC “File Name”?
Answer: Yes

97. Reference: Attachment E, IRD 2.1.1, EBSA XML Return Transaction File (page 7 of 58)

Question: Should the XML “Data Set Name:” (PDPPW.P260xx.F001.@YYYYJJJJ) be identical for
the EBSA (IRD 2.1.1), the IRS (IRD 2.2.1) and the PBGC (IRD 2.3.1)? Same question for the
Structured “Data Set Name:” for EBSA (IRD 2.1.2), IRS (IRD 2.2.2) and PBGC (IRD 2.3.2).
Answer: Yes
98. Reference: Attachment E, IRD 2.1.1, EBSA XML Return Transaction File (page 7 of 58)

Question: Does “File Name” refer to the ZIP file itself?


Answer: Yes, file name refers to the zip file. Attachment E of the requirements will be amended to
clarify that the File Name shall be sufficiently unique to prevent file name collisions and shall have a
“.ZIP” extension.

99. Reference: Attachment E, IRD 2.1.2, EBSA Structured Return Transaction File (page 8 of
58)

Question: Should the compressed file contain one file per table, each of which is named in accordance
with the required File Name as indicated in Appendix B?
Answer: Yes. The “file name” and “data set name” requirements in Attachment E will be amended to
reflect that each agency may receive multiple files per data set.

100. Reference: Attachment E, IRD 2.1.4, EBSA Annual E-mail Archive File (page 11 of 58)

Question: To what does “(see Transfer Criteria 2.3.1-2.3.2)” refer?


Answer: Attachment E of the requirements will be amended to change “(see Transfer Criteria 2.3.1-
2.3.2)” to “(see Format Description).”

101. Reference: Attachment E, IRD 2.2.2, IRS Structured Return Transaction File (page 14 of
58)

Question: Should the IRS Structured Return Transaction File contain 1 file per table, named according
to Appendix B?
Answer: Yes, the file should contain 1 file per table in accordance with Appendix B

102. Reference: Attachment E, IRD B.1 – B.30 Physical Record Layout, (pages 25 – 57 of 58)

Question: What are the formatting requirements of elements having “Type” N and C?
Answer: Type N refers to ASCII numeric. Type C refers to ASCII character.

Question: In particular, what are the padding requirements and upper/lower case requirements?
Answer: The padding requirements and upper/lower case requirements should follow the DER Output
Specification.

103. Reference: Attachment I.6.1, Data Distribution/Timeliness - Performance Standard 6.1


(page 10 of 18)

Question: How is the Data Distribution/Timeliness standard computed for filings with delayed
delivery times due to the IRS filing count limit of 5000 [IRD 2.2, “EFAST2 Files Delivered to IRS”,
Attachment E, Page 12 of 58]? Will the Government use availability timestamp, rather than delivery
timestamp?
Answer: Yes. Attachment I.6.1 of the requirements will be amended to change “Completed Delivery
Timestamp” to “ COMPLETED-PROC-TIMESTAMP” so as to clarify that the Government’s
requirement is to use availability, not delivery, to measure performance standard 6.1.
104. Reference: Attachment I.6.3, Data Distribution/Timeliness - Performance Standard 6.3
(page 11 of 18)

Question: The 3rd bullet “Delivery Timestamp” references a message not described elsewhere in the
RFP: “…the notification message sent to the Government indicating that the “push” data
distribution.…” What are the requirements/format/medium of the notification message for each agency
receiving a “push”?
Answer: Section C.15.3.4 of the requirements will be amended to clarify that the Contractor shall be
required to transmit E-mail notifications to EBSA, IRS, and PBGC notifying the agencies that their
respective “push” distributions are ready for pickup. Section C.2 of the requirements will be amended
to split performance standard 6.3 into 3 agency-specific standards: PS 6.3.1 for EBSA, PS 6.3.2 for
IRS, and PS 6.3.3 for PBGC. Attachment I.6.3 of the requirements will be amended to clarify that
calculation of the delivery timestamps shall change from “Delivery Timestamp” to “Completed EBSA
Delivery Timestamp” for PS 6.3.1, to “Completed IRS Delivery Timestamp” for PS 6.3.2, and to “
Completed PBGC Timestamp” for PS 6.3.3.

105. Reference: Attachment J.2.1, Tracking Database Records and Data Elements (page 7 of
14)

Question: The relationship between “COMPLETED-PROC-TIMESTAMP” [DER 1625] and the four
individual timestamps is not adequately explained. What is the relationship between “COMPLETED-
PROC-TIMESTAMP” [DER 1625] and the four individual timestamps “Completed EBSA Delivery
Timestamp”, “Completed IRS Delivery Timestamp”, “Completed PBGC Delivery Timestamp” and
“Completed Public Disclosure Delivery Timestamp”?
Answer: Attachment J will be amended to add four new binary indicators: “Completed EBSA
Availability Indicator”, “Completed IRS Availability Indicator”, “Completed PBGC Availability
Indicator” and “Completed Public Disclosure Availability Indicator”. The indicators shall be set to
either 0 or 1 depending upon whether the specific filing referenced by the tracking database record
requires delivery to the respective agency based on the distribution filtering criteria specified in
Attachment E. Attachment J will be amended to clarify that COMPLETED-PROC-TIMESTAMP
shall be calculated as the latest specific availability timestamp of the group of entities with availability
indicators set equal to 1.

106. Reference: Attachment J.2.1, Tracking Database Records and Data Elements (page 7 of 14)

Question: How can the COMPLETED-PROC-TIMESTAMP be used for the C.2 timeliness
performance standards when each delivery has different timeliness requirements per the IRD?
Answer: See response to Technical Question 105.

107. Reference: Attachment N

Question: Many of the cited and referenced Government and Industry Standards categorize
capabilities, practices and procedures as “required” or “recommended”. Can the Contractor assume
that only those capabilities, practices and procedures listed as “required” are to be priced in to the
EFAST2 proposal?
Answer: Offerors are instructed to follow the stated requirements of the contract with regards to
Government and Industry standards.
108. Reference: Attachment N, paragraph N.1 & N.2, last two sentences of each – “… From time
to time Government standards will change and new related standards will be introduced.
The Contractor shall ensure that EFAST2 complies with the most current version of
Government standards cited herein as well as changes to those standards and new related
standards.”

Question: Does the Government intend to pay the contractor for system modifications necessitated by
future changes to the standards and new related standards?
Answer: No

109. Reference: Attachment N and Government Standard N.1.54

Question: Does the Government share the Contractor’s opinion that a website “Best Practices”
repository is more properly offered as a source of guidance than invoked as a “Standard” with which
the Contractor shall comply?
Answer: Offerors are instructed to follow the stated requirements of the contract with regards to
Government and Industry standards.

110. Reference: Attachment P.2008, DER variable 1092, “SF-PLAN-YEAR-BEGIN-DATE,”


(page 750 of 1168)

Question: This DER variable has an output specification of “remove hyphens”, but an error message
that indicates “…(hyphens required).” [Also with this issue is DER variable 1093].
Answer: Attachment P will be amended to clarify that hyphens are not to be removed for DER
variables 1092 and 1093.

111. Reference: Attachment P, Volume 2

Question: After many attempts I cannot view the attachments listed in the Solicitation 01 that appear
to have an extension of “.xsd”. I have tried to download software to help me view with no success.
Have you heard if anyone else if having the same problem?
Answer: XSD files can be viewed using Notepad or any text editor.

112. Reference Attachment S

Question: In Attachment S, Page 9 of 12, Call Response Details, does the Average Handle Time
reflect only the time spent on the phone or does it include after-call processing?
Answer: Handle time reflects time spent on the phone only.

Question: If it only includes the time on the phone, and there a requirement for after-call processing,
what are the historical statistics for after-call processing time?
Answer: After-call processing is considered a desired Contact Center function that is at the
Contractor’s discretion. No historical data is available.
Contractual Questions

1. Reference: Section B

Question: Are there any fees associated with filings that the system will be responsible for tracking?
In particular does the system need to track late filings, invoice and collect fees for late filings?
Answer: The EFAST2 Contractor will not be required to track fees associated with Form 5500 filing.

2. Reference: Section B

Question: Will the government allow offerors to provide alternate costing models?
Answer: No. Offerors are instructed to submit their business proposals in accordance with Section B
of the EFAST2 RFP.

3. Reference: Section B.2.3.3, Option Period I (Second Component) through Option Period XI –
Cost and Pricing Schedule (page 9 of 16)

Question: Can the contractor propose a billing schedule based on projected volumes and cost?
Answer: No. Offerors are instructed to submit their business proposals in accordance with Section B
of the EFAST2 RFP.

4. Reference: Section B.2 Compensation

Question: “This contract comprises a 21-month Base Period and eleven 1-year options.” However,
Option Period I (1st and 2nd Components) is only 11 months long [8/1/08-6/30/09]. Will the
Government please clarify the references to “year”?
Answer: The total duration of Option Period I (1st and 2nd Components) is 11 months; however, all
other Option Periods have a duration of 12 months. The Government will amend the EFAST2 RFP to
correct this administrative inconsistency.

5. Reference: Section B.2.1.1 Base Period – Contract Type / B.2.1.4 Base Period – Fee

Question: B.2.1.1 indicates that “The Base Period of the contract is Cost Plus Award Fee (CPAF),”
but B.2.1.4 identifies the Base Period “fee structure consisting of 2 parts: (1) a fixed fee . . . and (2) an
award fee. . . .” The referenced fixed fee structure is not one we typically associate with that of a
CPAF. Was it the intent of the Government to use the term “Base Fee” for this reference instead of
“Fixed Fee”? Would the Government please clarify?
Answer: Yes. The Government will amend the EFAST2 RFP and replace “Fixed Fee” with “Base
Fee” in all CPAF-related RFP Sections.

6. Reference: Section B.2.1.4.1 Base Period – Fixed Fee

Question: This section mandates that the Fixed Fee be 70% of the total negotiated fee structure, while
Section B, B.2.1.4.2 Base Period – Award Fee specifies that the Award Fee be 30% of the total
negotiated fee structure. Would the Government consider any other split between Fixed Fee and
Award Fee?
Answer: No. The Government’s 70/30 split in the Base Period Award Fee Structure (between the
Fixed (Base) Fee and the Award Fee) will remain unchanged.
7. Reference: Section B.2.1.4.2 Base Period – Award Fee

Question: B.2.1.4.2 indicates that “The maximum amount of the Base Period Award Fee that can be
awarded in each component will be 33% of the total award fee structure established under the Base
Period.” Since 33% x 3 components equals 99%, will the Government please clarify the maximum
possible award fee achievable?
Answer: The Government will amend the EFAST2 RFP to correct this administrative inconsistency.
The maximum amount of the Base Period Award Fee that can be awarded in each component is 33.4%
(Component 1), 33.3% (Component 2), and 33.3% (Component 3).

8. Reference: Section B.2.2.4 Option Period I (1st Component) – Reimbursement of Costs

Question: Paragraph 3 of B.2.2.4 states the “Contractor shall build all usage fees, maintenance
expenses, upgrade costs, and all other recurring and/or ongoing costs associated with computers and
other non-GFI equipment acquired during the Base Period and the Option Period I (1st Component)
that will be incurred during Option Period I (1st Component) into the Firm Fixed Price (FFP) cost
structure.” However, Option Period I (1st Component) is CFPP. Is it correct to assume the
Government meant that these costs are to be built into the CPFF component? If not, will the
Government clarify how these costs are to be estimated in OY1 (1st Component)?
Answer: The Government will amend the EFAST2 RFP to administratively clarify Section B.2.2.4.
Specifically, the Government will incorporate the following revised language into Section B.2.2.4 “the
Contractor shall build all usage fees, maintenance expenses, upgrade costs, and all other recurring
and/or ongoing costs associated with computers and other non-GFI equipment acquired during the
Base Period and the Option Period I (1st Component) that will be incurred during Operations into the
Firm Fixed Price (FFP) cost structure proposed by the Contractor and incorporated into this contract
for Option Period I (2ndComponent) through Option Period XI.”

9. Reference: Section B.2.3.2 Option Period I (2nd Component) through Option Period XI

Question: The period of performance for Option Period I (2nd Component) is only 6 months long
while the pricing/invoicing formulae specify one twelfth (1/12) of the Total Fixed Price methodology.
Will the Government please clarify the applicable Fixed Price pricing/invoicing methodology?
Answer: The Government will amend Section B.2.3.3 of the EFAST2 RFP to administratively clarify
its pricing/invoicing methodology for CLINs 1 through 3. Specifically, the Government will
incorporate the following language into Section B.2.3.3 (CLIN1, CLIN2, CLIN3): “The monthly CLIN
___ price shall be one sixth (1/6) of the Total Fixed Price (TFP) _____ amount for Option Period I
(2nd Component), and (1/12) for each of Option Period II through Option Period XI.”

10. Reference: Section B.2.3.3 Option Period I (2nd Component) through Option Period XI -
Cost and Pricing Schedule

Question: Paragraph 5 states that the monthly CLIN 3 price is one twelfth (1/12) of the Total Fixed
Price (TFP) depreciation/amortization amount for each Option Period. However, Section T -1.2 -
Invoicing for Payment of Hardware & COTS Software Costs, Paragraph 1, states that the invoicing
should be in accordance with actual depreciation and amortization, which will result in an uneven
payment schedule. Will the Government please clarify which method, the average depreciation and
amortization or the actual depreciation and amortization, is to be proposed and invoiced?
Answer: The EFAST2 Contractor shall invoice hardware and software costs in accordance with
Section B of the EFAST2 RFP. The Government will amend Attachment T of the RFP to clarify this
inconsistency.

11. Reference: Section B.2.3.4 Option Period I (2nd Component) through Option Period XI –
Compensation

Question: The Government indicates that at the conclusion of each Option Period it may elect to take
title to computers, software, licenses, etc., that the contractor has provided and that, if it does, “the
Government may request the Contractor to submit a responsive proposal for the un-reimbursed portion
of the equipment and software items identified herein.” If the Government does not take title to these
items – especially following Option Period XI – does the Government expect the Contractor to bear the
un-reimbursed costs since there is no provision for reimbursement either through a “responsive
proposal” or beyond the conclusion of the contract?
Answer: The EFAST2 Contractor will be responsible for all unreimbursed hardware and software
costs at the conclusion of the EFAST2 Contract.

Question: Further, the Government does not indicate that it “will” request a responsive proposal if it
takes title, but merely that it “may.” Will the Government commit itself to reimbursing the Contractor
for items to which it takes title?
Answer: The Government will amend Section B.2.3.4 of the RFP to reflect “will” rather than “may.”

12. Reference: Section B.4, Estimated Filing Volumes (page 15 of 16)

Question: How will the Government evaluate the proposed pricing if offerors propose varying filing
volumes?
Answer: The Government will evaluate EFAST2 proposal cost and pricing data in accordance with
Sections L and M of the RFP.

13. Reference: Section E.8.3, E.8.4 (page 14)

Question: It is unclear as to who will execute the test cases supplied by the Govt. Representatives on
Test Filing Tool. Will it be the contractor or the govt. representatives themselves?
Answer: Government representatives will be responsible for conducting tests of the EFAST2 system.
The Contractor is responsible for supporting these tests, and meeting all the requirements in Section
E.8.3 of the EFAST2 RFP.

14. Reference: Section G.5.(c)

Question: "The total duration of this contract, including the exercise of any options under this clause,
shall not exceed 11 years." However, the schedule shown in B.2.3.2 plus the 21 month base exceeds
11 years. Please clarify.
Answer: The total duration of the EFAST2 Contract is 12 years and 3 months. The Government will
amend the EFAST2 RFP to clarify this administrative inconsistency.

15. Reference: Section G.5, Option to Extend the Term of the Contract

Question: The RFP states that the Base Period and Option Year I (Component 1) of a resulting
contract will be for 21 months, Option Year I (Component 2) will be for a period of 15 months, with
ten additional 1-year option periods. However, Section G.5 states that “the total duration of this
contract, including the exercise of any options under this clause, shall not exceed 11 years. Please
clarify.
Answer: EFAST2 Base Period and Option Period I (1st Component) have a combined duration of 21
months; Option Period I (2nd Component) has a duration of 6 months; and Option Periods II through
XI each have a duration of 12 months.

16. Reference: Section H.2, MODIFICATIONS AND REVISIONS

Question: “The Contractor shall furnish full documentation of all Contractor changes and/or
modifications to the applications and/or operating system software provided to meet Government
requirements. In the case of new software releases, the Government may elect to accept the later
versions of software. If accepted, software support will be provided at no additional cost to the
Government during the period of this contract.” Should the Contractor price a contingency in to the
EFAST2 proposal to cover the potential loss of support for the chosen computer Operating System?
Answer: The EFAST2 Contractor will bear the risk of operating system support loss during the firm
fixed price operations phase of the EFAST2 Contract.

17. Reference: Section H.8 Insurance (4) Aircraft public and passenger liability (page 8)

Question: Would DOL please re-evaluate the requirement for this insurance. It does not seem to be
applicable to the work performance of this RFP. If DOL does require this insurance for the
performance of the RFP work, further clarification is requested as to the passenger liability coverage at
$200,000 multiplied by the number of seats or passengers, whichever is greater.
Answer: The liability coverage amounts referenced in Section H.8 reflect FAR (28.306) insurance
guidelines for fixed price contracts. The EFAST2 Contractor may be required to travel by airplane to
EFAST2- required meetings and events. FAR requires all contractors provide aircraft public and
passenger liability when aircraft are used in connection with performing a contract.

18. Reference: Section H.12.1 Base Period and Option Period I (1st Component)

Question: “The Option Period I (1st Component) will be a 6 month period during which the
Contractor shall conduct advance, preprocessing activities necessary to prepare for system startup.
Option Period I (1st Component) will be a Cost Plus Fixed Fee contract period that occurs concurrently
with the last 6 months of the Base Period.”

B.2.2.2 Option Period I (1st Component) – Period of Performance “Option Period I (1st Component)
of the contract is August 1, 2008, through December 31, 2008. Option Period I (1st Component)
commences upon successful completion of the Base Period (2nd Component) (see Section B), planned
for July 31, 2008.”

There is a discrepancy between H.12.1 and B.2.2.2. Should H.12.1 be changed to define Option Period
I (1st Component) as a five (5) month period?

Answer: Option Period I (1st Component) of the EFAST2 Contract will last five 5 months. The
Government will amend the EFAST2 RFP to clarify this administrative inconsistency.

19. Reference: Section I (new clause)


Question: Will the Government authorize the contractor to purchase off of GSA schedules for
hardware / software?
Answer: The Government has no plans to authorize EFAST2 contractors to purchase hardware or
software off GSA schedules.

20. Reference: Section I (new clause)

Question: Would the Government consider the insertion of an Economic Price Adjustment (EPA)
clause, such as FAR 52.216-4, Economic Price Adjustment – Labor and Materials, after Option Period
4 of the contract? Including this clause will result in reduced risk and lower overall price.
Answer: No

21. Reference: Section I

Question: Does the fact that FAR 52.222-41 (Service Contract Act of 1965, as Amended) has not been
included in Section I imply that the EFAST2 contract has been administratively exempted from the
requirements of the Service Contract Act?
Answer: Yes

22. Reference: Section I.2.a, Clauses Applying to Cost Plus Sections of the Contract –
Incorporated by Reference, lists FAR Clause 52.216-11.

Question: FAR Clause 52.216-11 -- Cost Contract -- No Fee.

As prescribed in 16.307(e), insert the clause in solicitations and contracts when a cost-reimbursement
contract is contemplated that provides no fee and is not a cost-sharing contract or a facilities contract.
This clause may be modified by substituting “$10,000” in lieu of “$100,000” as the maximum reserve
in paragraph (b) if the Contractor is a nonprofit organization.

“FAR 52.216-11 Cost Contract -- No Fee (Apr 1984)


(a) The Government shall not pay the Contractor a fee for performing this contract….”

The Contractor seeks clarification as to how the Government will apply the guidance of this clause in
the Cost Plus award Fee and/or Cost Plus Incentive Fee portion of the EFAST2 contract. We
recommend deleting FAR 52.216-11 Cost Contract -- No Fee (Apr 1984) from Section I. This clause
does not appear to be applicable to EFAST2. It states, in part, that “(a) The Government shall not pay
the Contractor a fee for performing this contract.”

Answer: The Government will amend the RFP to delete FAR 52.216-11.

23. Reference: Section I.2.c Clauses Applying to Entire Life Cycle of Contract - Incorporated by
Reference lists FAR 52.204-9

Question: FAR 52.204-9 Personal Identity Verification of Contractor Personnel (JAN 2006)
(a) The Contractor shall comply with agency personal identity verification procedures identified in the
contract that implement Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 (HSPD-12), Office of
Management and Budget (OMB) guidance M-05-24, and Federal Information Processing Standards
Publication (FIPS PUB) Number 201.
(b) The Contractor shall insert this clause in all subcontracts when the subcontractor is required to have
physical access to a federally-controlled facility or access to a Federal information system. (End of
Clause)

Should the Contractor anticipate that all employees with access to the EFAST2 system will, at some
point, require Government-issued identification cards?

Answer: No

24. Reference: Section I (Contract Clauses)

Question: We believe that FAR 52.233-1 DISPUTES is applicable to the EFAST2 contract and should
be included in Section I. Will the Government add FAR 52.233-1 DISPUTES to Section I?
Answer: Yes. The Government will amend the RFP to add FAR 52.233-1 DISPUTES.

25. Reference: Section I.2.c, Clauses Applying to Entire Life Cycle of Contract - Incorporated
by Reference, lists FAR 52.204-2 Security

Question: FAR 52.204-2 -- Security Requirements.

“As prescribed in 4.404(a), insert the following clause:


Security Requirements (Aug. 1996)

(a) This clause applies to the extent that this contract involves access to information classified
“Confidential,” “Secret,” or “Top Secret.”…”

Will the Government delete FAR 52.204-2 Security from Section I?

Answer: Yes. The Government will amend the EFAST2 RFP to delete FAR 52.204-2.

26. Reference: Section I.4 - 52.216-18 Ordering

Question: How would DOL issue delivery orders or task orders against the fixed priced CLINS when
one price per CLIN has been requested?
Answer: The Government does not anticipate issuing delivery or task orders under the EFAST2
Contract.

27. Reference: Section L.7 (page 5 of 30)

Question: The instructions in L.7 state: “Volumes I and II shall be sealed in separate envelopes and
included in one master package.” With the extensive requirements for the content of Volumes I and II,
coupled with the need to submit 8 paper copies of each volume, offerors would have to package the
volumes in a box larger than any available standard size in order to include all copies of both volumes
in one master package. Will the Government allow offerors to package the proposal volumes in
multiple boxes appropriately labeled?
Answer: The Government will allow offerors to package EFAST2 proposal volumes in multiple boxes
as long as the boxes are clearly marked (e.g. box 1 of 3, boxes 2 of 3 etc.), and all boxes and materials
are received no later than November 13, 2006 5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.
28. Reference: Section L.8.1.e, Requirements Traceability Matrix (page 6 of 30)

Question: This paragraph requires offerors to complete the RTM provided as Attachment B to the
RFP. Will the Government provide an electronic copy of Attachment B in Microsoft Word or Excel
format for offerors to complete?
Answer: The Government will provide an electronic copy of Attachment B in Microsoft Excel format
as part of the EFAST2 RFP Amendment.

29. Reference: Section L.8.2.3 (page 7 of 30)

Question: Paragraph (a) states: “Recruiting and training sufficient staff to operate EFAST2 and
ensuring that all Minimum Background Investigation (MBI) paperwork is properly prepared and
submitted to the Government to secure clearances for production processing staff.” Will Contact
Center staff be required to have an MBI clearance for EFAST2? It is unclear from Section C.18 if
CSRs will have access to SBU data. Exhibit C.15.1 on page 151 of Section C appears to indicate that
Contact Center staff will have access to SBU data. Please confirm if Exhibit C.15.1 is accurate and the
Contact Center staff will have access to SBU data.
Answer: EFAST2 Contact Center Support Staff will be required to attain MBI clearance in order to
work on the EFAST2 contract.

30. Reference: Section L.8.2.5.7 (page 11 of 30)

Question: Paragraph (d) references Sections C.10.6.7 – C.10.6.12, which do not exist in Section C of
the RFP. We believe the Section C references related to L.8.2.5.7.d requirements are C.10.6.6 –
C.10.6.6.5. Please clarify.
Answer: The Government will amend the RFP to clarify this administrative inconsistency.
Specifically, the RFP will be amended to replace all references to Section C.10.6.7 through C.10.6.12,
with Section C.10.6.6 through C.10.6.6.5.

31. Reference: Section L.8.4.1 (page 13 of 30)

Question: Paragraph (b) requires offerors to describe plans for developing IMS related project
planning deliverables, including a Cost Performance Report. However, Section C and the Schedule of
Deliverables in Section F identify the report as Contract Performance Report. There is no mention of a
Cost Performance Report in Section C or F. Please clarify if the report identified as Cost Performance
Report in Section L.8.4.1.b should be Contract Performance Report.
Answer: The Government will amend the RFP to clarify this administrative inconsistency.
Specifically, the EFAST2 RFP will be amended to replace all references to a Cost Performance Report
with Contract Performance Report.

32. Reference: Section L.8.5.1 (page 14 of 30)

Question: Paragraph (d) requires offerors to describe the “length of time in business for the staff that
would service this contract.” Please clarify if length of time in business is referring to the length of
time with the offeror or the length of time in industry.
Answer: The term, “Length of time in business” refers to the total years of experience each staff
member has in his/her specific industry. The Government will amend the RFP to clarify this
administrative inconsistency. Specifically, the Government will change “length of time in business” to
the “years of industry experience.”
33. Reference: Section L.8.5.1, Past Performance and Corporate Capabilities, and L.9.1,
Administrative Data and General Instructions

Question: Will detailed teaming agreements between the Offeror and any subcontract entities suffice
for supporting documentation? In the case of product providers and other one-time purchase vendors,
will written quotations suffice in lieu of subcontract agreements?
Answer: The Government requires signed letters of availability and commitment from all key
personnel not currently employed by the Offeror, in addition to consulting and subcontracting
agreements with all consultants and subcontractors proposed to be used by the Offeror.

34. Reference: Section L.8.5.2, Project Descriptions

Question: The RFP states that each synopsis shall include “the identity of the non-clerical staff
assigned to the project and their positions.” For some large, long-term projects, this could mean
identifying hundreds (or possibly thousands) of individuals and could potentially create privacy issues.
Can offerors assume that identification of typical labor category types and average personnel levels
will suffice for this requirement?
Answer: Offerors are instructed to provide the identity of key personnel assigned to the project whose
labor categories correlate to those identified in Section C.3 of the EFAST2 RFP.

35. Reference: Section L.8.5.2.a, Project Descriptions (page 14 of 30)

Question: Paragraph (a) states: “The Offeror shall submit a list and detailed description of three (3)
projects or contracts completed by the corporate organizations that would service this contract….”
Please confirm that this means a total of three (3) projects or contracts, which will include projects
performed by the proposed prime contractor and may include projects performed by proposed
subcontractors.
Answer: The Offeror shall submit a list and detailed description of three (3) projects or contracts
performed by the Offeror as a prime contractor or performed by a proposed subcontractor. The quality
and applicability of the experience will determine the points that are awarded. The Government will
amend the RFP to clarify this administrative inconsistency.

36. Reference: Section L.8.5.2 Project Descriptions

Question: L.8.5.2 Project Descriptions a.5 requests “The identity of the non-clerical staff assigned to
the project and their positions”. Please clarify that this is only for personnel who are bid on this RFP. If
it is indeed for all non-clerical personnel who worked on the project, is it since project inception? Is it
only for active employees? Is there a minimum duration on the project? For employees not bid in this
response who are concerned about confidentiality, how will this information be used?
Answer: Offerors are instructed to provide the identity of key personnel assigned to the project whose
labor categories generally correlate to those identified in Section C.3 of the EFAST2 RFP. Offerors
should provide information for all key personnel (active and inactive employees) who have worked on
the project since project inception. There is no minimum duration on the project. This information will
be used to verify the Offeror’s performance on the project.

37. Reference: Section L.8.5.2 (page 14 of 30)


Question: Paragraph (a) requires offerors to submit a list and detailed description of three projects or
contracts completed. However, Past Performance typically includes an assessment of an offeror’s
performance on contracts currently being performed because many contracts run between five to ten
years through the exercise of options. We recommend that the sentence be restructured to read
“…active or completed.”
Answer: The Government will amend the RFP to read “active or completed” as suggested.

38. Reference: Section L.8.5.2

Question: Section L.8.5.2 Project Descriptions states that relevant projects include XML based
electronic processing systems, will projects for web-based filing systems using something other than
XML be considered relevant references for this contract?
Answer: The Government is primarily interested in Offeror’s past performance with XML based
electronic processing systems. Offerors that provide project descriptions for non-XML based
electronic processing systems bear the burden of demonstrating that the non-XML based electronic
processing systems should be considered as relevant past performance that is directly applicable to
meeting the EFAST2 requirements.

39. Reference: Section L.8.5.3, Contractor Performance Evaluation Survey

Question: Some projects completed by Offerors will not have a publicly available “Operational URL,”
specific to the project, as requested in this section. Will the lack of such impact evaluation?
Final Answer: Yes

40. Reference: Section L.8.7

Question: Section L.8.7 requires offerors to submit a Small Business Subcontracting Utilization Plan,
is a small business submitting a proposal as a prime contractor exempt from this requirement?
Answer: Yes. The Government will amend the Section L.8.7 and M.3.7 by adding the following new
language: “Offers that are received from small businesses in accordance with NAICS 541511 and a
size standard of $23,000,000 are exempt from the subcontracting utilization plan requirements.”

41. Reference: Section L.9, Business Proposal Instructions

Question: Cost or pricing data is required from the prime contractor and subcontractors in the RFP.
However, FAR 15.403.1 prohibits requiring cost or pricing data under any full and open competition
procurement. Therefore, we request that the requirement for cost or pricing data be removed.
Answer: In accordance with 15.403-3 the contracting officer is responsible for obtaining information
necessary to evaluate the reasonableness of the price or determining cost realism. The data requested
under Section L.9 of the RFP is necessary to support the Government’s cost reasonableness analysis.
At this time, the Government is not requiring this information to be certified as accurate, complete
and/or current. The Government does, however, reserve the right to request a Certification of Current
Cost or Pricing Data at a later date.

42. Reference: Section L.9.1(i) (page 18)

Question: Section L.9.1(i) states that a Certificate of Current Cost or Pricing Data is required after
final agreement of award. [We] request that DOL refer to FAR 15.403-1, Prohibition on obtaining cost
or pricing data (10 U.S.C. 2306a and 41 U.S.C 254b), (b) Exceptions to cost or pricing data
requirements. The contracting officer shall not require submission of cost or pricing data to support
any action – (1) When the contracting officer determines that prices agreed upon are based on adequate
price competition. Since this RFP is a full and open competition, a Certificate of Current Cost or
Pricing Data, per FAR 15.403-1 is not required. Will the Government remove this requirement from
the RFP?
Answer: See Contractual Question 41.

43. Reference: Section L.9.8.5, LABOR RATE AND INDIRECT RATE VERIFICATION (page
28 of 30)

Question: The Offeror shall forward a separate copy of the Offeror’s "Business Proposal" to the
Offeror’s cognizant federal audit agency office by the same due date and time applicable under this
RFP for the main proposal. This copy of the Offeror’s "Business Proposal" shall be conveyed through
a separate transmittal letter, which includes the following guidance text for the audit office:
The U.S. Department of Labor, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management,
Procurement Services Center, Rm. N-5416, 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.,Washington D.C. 20210,
requests that your office review this cost proposal for labor and indirect rates verification. Please
forward your response to the above address - ATTN: ERIC VOGT by November 13, 2006.
RFP Cover Letter – “Technical and Business proposals must be received by the U. S. Department of
Labor, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management, Office of Procurement
Services, N-5416 200 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20210-0001, no later than
November 13.2006.5:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.” The guidance text for the audit office in Section
L.9.8.5 requests the offeror’s cognizant federal audit agency office to provide results of its review on
the same date that the proposal is due. We believe that the offeror’s cognizant federal audit agency
office should be allowed additional time to review the offeror’s cost proposal for labor and indirect
rates verification.

Will the Government change L.9.8.5 (guidance to audit office) to allow at least one month beyond the
proposal submission date of 13 Nov 06 for the cognizant federal audit agency office to review the
offeror’s cost proposal for labor and indirect rates verification?

Answer: The Government will amend the EFAST2 RFP to clarify this administrative inconsistency.
The amended due date for the cognizant federal agency review will be December 13, 2006.

44. Reference: Section M.3.7

Question: If the offeror subcontracts more than 10% of contract value, does the small business
requirement remain 6% of contract value?
Answer: Offerors proposing to subcontract greater than 10% of the contract award must still award at
least 60% of the subcontracted amount to small businesses to receive the maximum points available
under Section M.3.7.

45. Reference: Section M.3.7

Question: Section M.3.7 Small Business Subcontracting Utilization Plan states that the subcontracting
plans will be awarded up to 25 points, how would the Government evaluate a small business prime
contractor with no small business subs?
Answer: Offerors that are small businesses are automatically eligible for award of the maximum 25
points for the Small Business Subcontracting Utilization Plan.
Administrative Questions

1. Question: Please let me know if there is an incumbent, so we may pursue a teaming relationship.
Answer: Pearson Government Solutions is the current incumbent for Contract No. J-9-P-8-0037.

2. Question: Will the incumbent be allowed to bid on this contract?


Answer: The EFAST2 solicitation is an unrestricted, full and open competition.

3. Question: Has the DOL decided if it will schedule a pre-proposal conference?


Answer: The Government has not scheduled a pre-proposal conference at this time. If a decision
to hold a pre-proposal conference is made, all details will be released on FedBizOpps.gov.

4. Reference: Paragraph L.13, Pre Proposal Conference


Question: Has DOL determined if and when such a conference will be held?
Answer: Please see Administrative Question 3.

5. Question: Given the change of points of contact in Amendment 1, is Section L.9.8.5 LABOR
RATE AND INDIRECT RATE VERIFICATION point of contact still Eric Vogt?
Answer: Yes, please send a separate copy of the Offeror’s "Business Proposal" for Labor Rate
and Indirect Rate Verification to Eric F. Vogt as specified in Section L.9.8.5. All other inquiries
should be directed to Paula Sheelor at Sheelor.Paula@dol.gov.

6. Question: Is it possible to obtain a MSWord version of Section L?


Answer: No.

7. Question: Request that a list of the Offerors expressing intent to respond be made available to us.
Answer: Please see Administrative Question 9.

8. Question: Can you e-mail me the bidders list for the solicitation # DOL069RP20266. We are a
small company and want to have a chance to team up with a bigger partner for the proposal.
Answer: Please see Administrative Question 9.

Administrative Question #9 Continues on the Following Page


9. Question: For the purposes of forming a team to respond to the RFP would the government
provide a list of the offerers who submitted a Notice of Intent to respond to this solicitation?
Answer: Below represents a list of companies that have submitted a Letter of Intent in response to
the September 1, 2006 RFP Solicitation (DOL06RP20266):

A & B Technologies
ABC Virtual
Adobe Systems
Adsystech, Inc.
Aquilent
Centrise Technologies
CompSci Resources
Computer Science Corporation
Core Computer Group
CRC/E-Sync Networks
EDS
Engineering/Software Systems Solutions
First Data Government Solutions
HRWorX
Information Management Consultants
Intercon Associates
Internal Computer Services
LBi Software
NIC
Pearson Government Solutions
Savantage Solutions
SI International
SRA
Strategic Applications & Technologies, Inc.
SunGard
Symplicity
System Planning Corporation
Verizon