RFI 31609-27902 FAQ Q1 – Q3. (Answered as a group in bold below) The RFI indicates in Section 7.2 that “In the event that the state chooses not to go further in the procurement process and responses are never evaluated, the responses to the procurement including the responses to the RFI, will be considered confidential by the State.” However, there is no additional language regarding the identification and protection confidential information submitted by vendors. Does TCI have any requirements regarding the identification of vendor submitted confidential/trade secret/proprietary information?
Q2. Section 4 of the RFI states that “Due to the nature of this project, and the chance for conflicts of interest to occur, TCI will not consider any responses from companies that are currently contracted to provide a jail management system, jail management software, or technology solution to any of the 120+ jails currently overseen by TCI.” However, during the pre-response conference, TCI indicated that the vendor awarded the research contract from this RFI, or the potential resulting RFP, does not intend to preclude the awarded vendor from participating in the resulting jail management system, jail management software, or technology solution RFP that will be structured around the research resulting from this effort. This standard appears to create the same conflict of interest as the potential conflict identified in the RFI since the researching vendor’s collected information would shape the requirements of the resulting technology solution RFP, as well as having a year’s worth of preparation gathering intimate solution information through communicative and collaborative relationships with other state and local government institutions, as well as currently contracted vendors. This would clearly benefit the researching vendor and any company they may partner with on the subsequent procurement opportunity to actually provide the Technology Solution, as either a prime or a subcontractor. Would TCI please provide a further explanation of the potential conflicts of interest with the current contracted companies performing this work and how this conflict differs from the awarded research vendor completing the work?
Q3. It was stated in the pre-response conference that TCI intends to award a vendor directly from the results of this RFI unless the CPO determines it must go through an RFP phase as well. This information can determine the amount of information that is submitted by vendors in response to the RFI, especially when considering there is no language regarding vendor submitted confidential information. Will TCI know whether or not this will go to RFP before the closing date of this RFI, and will TCI consider extending the RFI response due date pending that determination from the CPO?
A: We have determined that we will NOT be allowed to award a contract from this RFI. We have started discussions with the CPO about going to an RFP. That being said, an RFI is part of the procurement process, so the responses of suppliers would not be subject to disclosure under the Open Records Act until the evaluation of responses are completed, pursuant to TCA §10-7-504(a). The RFI contains questions based on what we know to be true today, but things are subject to change as we are still in the very early stages of exploring and attempting to determine what we need. The CPO does have rules around unfair competitive advantages, biased ground rules, etc. and we will work with the CPO to craft any future RFP around those rules. As such, your concerns have been noted and will be considered in any upcoming solicitation development.
Q4. Could you share the name of the most widely used JMS in the state?
A: TCI does not track this information currently.
Q5. Is it possible to speak with any admins for JMSs in the state? Ideally someone from a large jail and then a small one to help us better understand the technology. Our system can ingest data from any source, but we wanted to do our due diligence in researching how jails are currently managing, compiling and sharing that data.
A: We would be unable to do this, but we will take it under advisement for a future RFP to have a panel discussion as part of the pre-response conference to allow people to ask questions of some subject matter experts.
Q6. Can TCI please confirm that the vendor selected to conduct the analysis, develop recommendations, and submit a final report would not be precluded from future opportunities, e.g., implementation of proposed recommendations?
A: The Central Procurement Office has rules regarding competitive advantage, biased ground rules, etc. TCI will work closely with the CPO for any future RFP that will address this type of issue.
Q7. Please confirm that TCI will not convert historical data with the potential implementation of a new jail management system.
A: TCI would not expect any historical data to be pulled into a clearinghouse. A JMS would likely need historical data, but we are leaning towards a data clearing house as a better approach.
Q8. Can TCI quantify the number of hours (per week) specific TCI resources that be available to support assessment activities?
A: As we are still in the early stages of researching our needs, we do not know how many hours a week TCI resources would be available. Please note we are a very small agency, and our personnel resources are stretched thin.
Q9. We would like to know if you would like a paper copy of our response to be sent to your mailing address or if an electronic email copy is sufficient.
A: We prefer an electronic copy.
Q10: Can less lethal items can be purchased with the TCI grant and be used for training?
A: Yes, you can buy less than-lethal items with the grant. The items should be used in your training program, but they can also be used for in-jail responses. There is no pro-rating on the equipment. For example, if you buy stab resistant plates for vests or an electric shield or electric gloves, you can use that equipment in the jail AS LONG AS you also train with it. This is because the funding source for this equipment is tied to funds that require it to be used for correctional officer training.
If you have any questions, please email TCI.Operations@tn.gov