Updated 6/27, 6/26, 6/18, 6/11, 6/7, 6/6: (See questions and answers below)
The National Institute of Corrections (NIC) is soliciting proposals from organizations, groups, or individuals to enter into a cooperative agreement for an 18-month period to begin no later than September 15, 2013. Work under this cooperative agreement will involve the development of a series of resources dedicated to addressing the corrections-specific frequently asked questions of its extended stakeholder audiences, including family and community-based constituency groups. Sample content may include original feature writing, creation of fact sheets, audio podcasts, videos, and/or photography. This project will be a collaborative venture with the NIC Research and Information Services Division.
Deliverables: Deliverables expected to be produced under this cooperative agreement include at a minimum:
DEADLINE: Applications must be received before midnight (ET) on Monday July 1, 2013.
Download the Full Solicitation
Please note effective July 1, 2013 the Central Contractor Registration (CCR) has been merged to the System for Award Management (SAM). The SAM registry and Frequently Asked Questions can be reached at http://www.sam.gov. Please note that the registration process can take up to 1-3 weeks, so please plan accordingly.
Questions and Answers:
Question: Who is the audience for the pieces?
Answer: The final pieces should be directed toward general audiences. The purpose for developing the content is to address the frequently asked questions that most people have about jails, prisons, and community corrections. People generally interested in corrections typically include community members, people with incarcerated loved ones, some non-profit organizations, legislative staff, students, and the full range of criminal justice partners.
Question: Are the stories written from a national or local perspective?
Answer: Local jurisdictions may be featured as case studies, but the perspective should be national. Good examples from (your state) would be welcome as would examples from any other area of the United States or its territories.
Question: Would our existing relationships with correctional professionals in (our state) be useful?
Answer: Any connection that applicants may have to criminal justice or corrections would be useful. However, it is not required. The strongest applicants will be able to demonstrate their ability to translate difficult topics into plain language for ease of understanding for general audiences.
Question: Would the NIC assign stories? Would these have a local slant?
Answer: All story topics must be approved by NIC, but applicants should be able to "pitch" good topics in addition to writing stories that NIC assigns. Local jurisdictions may be featured as case studies, but the perspective should be national.
Question: Regarding Deliverable 3 [26 weeks of bi-weekly media (such as audio, photo, video, mobile application, etc.) supporting feature content], are you looking for very short pieces of media? As video and mobile applications can be expensive to produce, a sense of how many minutes you are looking for would be helpful for budgeting purposes.
Answer: There isn't a time limit for the supporting media, just as there are no preliminary specs for creating possible apps or still imagery. Given the turnaround time for some of these projects, it is expected that applicants will propose to produce only those items that they can competently complete within the project's financial and deadline-driven constraints.
Question: How long do you anticipate that the weekly meetings will be and how many days will the on-site meeting last?
Answer: The weekly meetings should last 30 minutes to one hour. The onsite meeting should last 1 to 3 days.
Question: What type of content are you looking for in this solicitation?
Answer: The types of content expected include those outlined in the Deliverables section of the solicitation. Aside from providing the mandatory feature article, applicants are encouraged to provide supporting media in any form they have the capacity to create. For example, each week, the awardee is expected to provide an article. Biweekly, an article will include supporting media such as a video, podcast, interactive map, mobile app, infographic, photo gallery, quiz, poll, etc. The awardee is not expected to produce all of these things but should have the capacity to produce at least one type of supporting media on a bi-weekly basis.
Question: Would information about [my specific] program and [its outcomes] be useful and quality for this funding opportunity announcement?
Answer: Information about individual programs would be useful as case studies.
Question: Are you looking for corporate applicants or individuals?
Answer: Applicants of all types, are encouraged to apply. All applicants must meet the same criteria as outlined in the solicitation.
Question: How should I proceed as a job applicant?
Answer: The solicitation is for a 18-month cooperative agreement. Applicants may apply by following the instructions outlined in the solicitation.
Question: What is the anticipated/estimated project start date for the "Corrections-Specific Resources for Extended Stakeholder Audiences" project?
Answer: It is anticipated/estimated project start date will be September 3, 2013.
Question: The announcement states the project should begin no later than September 15, 2013, but what is the earliest date the project can be started?
Answer: The earliest date the project can be started is determined by the award process.
Question: The solicitation cites a requirement that the applicant provide a cover letter "that identifies the audit agency responsible for the applicant's financial accounts." Would you kindly explain this requirement? Would this be a letter from the external account firm that conducts our financial review?
Answer: The purpose of this requirement is to verify an applicant's audit agency. Applicants can write their own letter identifying their audit agency or the audit agency may provide a letter.
Question: Is there currently a plan in place for the distribution and dissemination of the materials created under this award? If so, can you share any of it with us?
Answer: The materials produced as part of this cooperative agreement will be used to create a Web-based series.
Question: We are not clear about which formats we should plan on producing. What can you tell us about the dissemination plan's selected forms of distribution? (For instance, will podcasts be used? Will website content, either downloadable or not, be employed? Will DVD's be made? Etc.)
Answer: The type of interactive content that will be used to accompany the writing assignments will be determined in consultation with the applicant. We're looking for applicant's best ideas regarding ways to present technical information in a manner that is easy to understand.
Question: On page 1 of the RFP an 18 month duration of work is described. On Page 5 the Deliverables include 52 weeks of weekly articles, 26 weeks of bi-weekly media and 12 months of monthly fact sheets. Can you explain how the deliverables fill-out the 18 months? I.e. - which pieces happen when? Is there timeline that puts all of these in correct order with one another, that comprises the 18 month period?
Answer: It is expected that there will be some time for planning, consultation, and review before and after the sets of deliverables are received.
Question: Is the completed form named on page 10 of the RFP, attesting to accessibility of deliverables, one that should be submitted with the proposal, with answers indicating our plan encompasses the accessibility factors? Or is the form only to be submitted with the actual deliverables?
Answer: For the cooperative agreement, the form should be submitted at the time you submit your deliverables. It is expected that as deliverables are being developed, an awardee will work in consultation with NIC staff to ensure that Section 508 requirements are met.
Question: On of the deliverables is "12 months of monthly fact sheets describing or explaining concepts in corrections." Can you give any more details about what is desired in the content in these, and how it would be different from the weekly articles? Will the content of these two deliverables overlap?
Answer: Fact sheets are quick reference tools. The articles will cover information more in depth. The content for both of these items will be done in consultation with NIC staff.
Question: Are the fact sheets have a specific format need, separate from the weekly content? Fro instance, are the Fact Sheets meant to be a digital and printable guide that one can download and keep for fast reference? Or is some other specific need being fulfilled by these?
Answer: Development of the fact sheets will be done in consultation with NIC staff. Their use and format will be determined by the content.
Question: Regarding the bi-weekly supporting media - is its content supposed to be complimentary to but unique from what has been in the weekly articles, or is its goal to convey some of the same information as the weekly articles, but to provide it in a different media format?
Answer: The supporting media should extend the concepts presented in the articles.
Question: Will the NIC be doing a final edit of materials submitted or will they be used exactly as submitted?
Answer: NIC will approve and make the final edits of all materials.
This blog is funded by a contract from the National Institute of Corrections, U.S. Department of Justice. Points of view or opinions stated in this document are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.