Updated 7/24, 7/23, 7/19, 7/17, 7/16, 7/15, 7/9: (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 a 12-month period to begin no later than September 15, 2013. Work under this cooperative agreement will involve the production of a 20- to 25- minute, high-end broadcast-quality DVD that introduces podular direct-supervision to a varied audience. The DVD will illustrate direct supervision through narration, interviews, graphics, and footage shot in jails. This project will be a collaborative venture with the NIC Jails Division.
DEADLINE: Applications must be received before midnight (ET) on Thursday, July 25, 2013.
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: Can we obtain a copy of the original script that has to be revised for this new production?
Answer: See the attached document, Jails in America Script (located above in the "Additional Resources" section)
Question: Are the interviewees already determined? How many separate people will be interviewed, and do you know how many exist at each location?
Answer: No, we have not identified the individual interviewees, however there will be 5 to 7 at each site.
Question: Do you know the jail locations that will be used, or will this be determined only during the kick-off meeting?
Answer: No the sites have not been determined. They will be announced at the kick-off meeting
Question: Does the NIC have a budget range for this project?
Answer: NIC does have a budget range for this project, but chose to not include it in the RFP. We would like to get each applicant's projection of the work and related costs to produce the DVD.
Question: Is it possible to see the script of the past production or a link to the previous NIC video?
Answer: See the attached documents (located above in the "Additional Resources" section)
Question: Does the NIC know what cities/jails will be featured? How should we budget for travel?
Answer: The cities/jails have not been determined. You might consider using average or high-average projections for travel costs.
Question: Is this video to be used on DVD
only (not on the web, not on broadcast)?
Answer: The video will be distributed widely on DVD and through sites such as YouTube and Vimeo. The video may be shown on the web sites of various organizations and on local or other television stations.
Question: Who is the audience for this DVD?
Answer: The DVD will have a very broad, large audience, including jail administrators and staff, students and instructors at colleges and universities, criminal justice system officials, other government officials, and the general public. The DVD may also be made available to audiences internationally who are interested in corrections.
Question: Will the DVDs be free of charge to all users?
Answer: The DVD will be free of charge to all users.
Question: For the DVD, can you estimate the total number of units as "under 5000," "5000 -10,000," or "over 10,000?”
Answer: It is difficult to gauge the total number of DVDs that will be copied, as we expect this film to have a shelf life of at least 10 years.
Question: What does NIC expect in the applicant's program narrative?
Answer: Each application must contain a program narrative that details the applicant's approach to carrying out the project. It must describe all the work required to produce the final product. Please refer to pages 10 - 12 of the Solicitation for a Cooperative Agreement to find the criteria we will use to assess your application. These criteria should help you understand what is required in your program narrative. If you have further questions, let us know.
Question: What is the minimum/maximum amount budgeted for the production of the DVD?
Answer: NIC has chosen to not publish the budget range for this project. We would like to get each applicant's projection of the work and related costs to produce the DVD.
Question: What amount was budgeted for the original 2005 video titled "Jails in America: A Report on Podular Direct Supervision?"
Answer: Because the original video was produced in 2005, NIC no longer has the records for the cooperative agreement or its cost.
Question: The proposal request states, "a cover letter that identifies the audit agency responsible for the applicant’s financial accounts as well as the audit period or fiscal year that the applicant operates under (e.g., July 1 through June 30)." Can you elaborate on this?
Answer: The audit period is equivalent to a 12-month period upon which you base your business, i.e., January 1 through December 31. Your application must include the required information on the audit agency responsible for your company's financial accounts and on the audit period. NIC will need verification of the financial status of your business.
Question: Would a video-production company with no experience producing corrections-related videos be eligible for this award?
Question: Our company is small and does not contract with an agency to audit our finances. However, the solicitation for the cooperative agreement requires applicants to supply audit agency and fiscal year information. Does this mean our company is not eligible to apply?
Answer: You are correct that the solicitation does require this information from applicants. However, the requirement for information differs depending on the amount of federal funds you receive during your organization's fiscal year.
If an organization receives a total of more than $500,000 in federal funds during its fiscal year, the organization must submit the audit information when applying for federal funds. If an organization receives less than $500,000, it must note in its application only the following: 1) the dates of its fiscal year and 2) that is will not receive more than a total of $500,000 during its fiscal year.
If you would like a lot more detail on this, you can refer to the following link: http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/a133/a133_revised_2007.pdf
Question: The solicitation requires applicants to register with SAM. This process takes 1 - 3 weeks, and I may not receive my SAM number before the application deadline. Given that, do I still have to register with SAM to apply for this project?
Answer: Yes, you must register with SAM in order to be able to work with the Federal Government. You should do so as soon as possible to begin the process of obtaining a SAM number.
After doing so, you should submit your application for 13JD05 on grants.gov at least one day prior to the deadline. This will help you to determine if there is a technical issue that would preclude you from submitting your proposal (e.g., not yet having a valid SAM number). If this occurs and grants.gov will not allow you to submit your application, contact Danny Downes, the program manager, and provide him with evidence of the technical difficulty you encounter (a screen shot of an error message, communication with grants.gov, etc). You can reach Mr. Downes at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 800-995-6423, ext. 43001.
Question: How do I know if I qualify to apply for this project?
Answer: You are qualified to apply if you can meet all requirements published in the solicitation.
Question: In what form should our company send the sample video productions?
Answer: Send these on DVD.
Question: How many applicants will our company be competing against?
Answer: We will not know how many applicants there are until the application period closes.
Question: Is there a target budget for this project?
Question: Can you give me guidance on planning for travel costs?
Answer: You might consider using average or high-average projections for travel costs. You should project 2 - 3 days on-site at each location.
Question: How many shooting days do you anticipate will be needed at each site?
Answer: Although time at the sites might vary, you should project 2 - 3 days onsite at each location.
Question: Must the sample videos be mailed in DVD format or will you accept web links?
Answer: You must mail the sample videos in DVD format.
Question: Could the proprosal be intended for submission as an attachment the Project Narrative Attachment Form?
Answer: You can attach all required forms to the application through grants.gov.
Question: How do we submit the proposal and the attachments electronically?
Answer: The cover letter, program narrative, detailed budget, budget narrative, and project team qualifications and expertise must be submitted along with the application through grants.gov. There is a provision on grants.gov to attach the additional forms which are requested.
Question: You are requesting a cover letter specifying the audit agency responsible for our financial accounts. We do not have an agency that does our accounts, as we do this in-house. How do we meet your requirement?
Answer: The requirement for information differs depending on the amount of federal funds you receive during your organization's fiscal year.
Question: Should we send short resumes (2 – 4 pages long) or summaries of the resumes?
Answer: We prefer the summaries.
Question: Does a Cooperative Agreement mean that our company is expected to match funds?
Question: As a for-profit company, we do not have an "indirect rate." Will this automatically disqualify us from the competitive bid?
Question: We are a small business, and our annual income exempts us from having an auditing agency, as required of our larger counterparts. Will this factor negatively impact our ranking during the evaluation process?
Answer: No. However, be aware that if an organization receives a total of more than $500,000 in federal funds during its fiscal year, the organization must submit the audit information when applying for federal funds. If an organization receives less than $500,000, it must note in its application only the following: 1) the dates of its fiscal year and 2) that is will not receive more than a total of $500,000 during its fiscal year.
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.