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Procurement ID: 2021 RFQ– Payment Authorization System (PAS) Program Code Rewrite

Procurement Type: Small Purchase/Cost Quote

Payment Type: Fee-for-Service/Fixed Price

| RFQ Schedule | Purpose / Intent | General Information | PAS-Specific Information | Quote Structure | Contract Determination and Award Details | Questions & Answers |


RFQ Schedule

(all times in Central Standard Time)

Date Time Procurement Action
March 19, 2021   RFQ Release Date
April 5, 2021 12:00 p.m. Notice of Intent Due
April 7, 2021 1:00 p.m. Virtual Proposer’s Conference
May 12, 2021 4:00 p.m. Deadline to Submit Questions
May 13, 2021 4:00 p.m. Answers to Questions Posted on www.swwdb.org
May 14, 2021 12:00 p.m. Quote Due Date
June 10, 2021   Intent to Award Decision
June 14, 2021   Services Begin Date

Please submit RFQ Letters of Intent to: d.thousand@swwdb.org

Please submit quotes to: d.thousand@swwdb.org

Technical questions related to this RFQ can be submitted to: m.riley@swwdb.org


Purpose / Intent

The purpose of this RFQ is to rewrite PAS with current code or recommend and implement a different option with the understanding that SWWDB will retain full rights and licensing of the new product and that it encompasses all current capabilities plus some new enhancements to meet more current grant reporting and compliance needs. Additionally, all existing records need to be imported into the new system so lifetime to date limits are able to be accurately tracked.

General Information

The Southwest Wisconsin Workforce Development Board, Inc. (SWWDB) is issuing this request for quotes to comply with SWWDB’s Procurement Policy, Section C.2. SWWDB manages multiple programs that assist individuals in finding employment. Each of our programs (also referenced as fund sources), provides direct assistance to these individuals to subsidize certain costs (for example: tuition, books and fees assistance, transportation and childcare assistance, and other needs-related assistance). This direct assistance is provided through vendor vouchers; we provide a voucher to the individual for a particular vendor. The vendor accepts the voucher, provides the product or service, and then bills SWWDB for the cost of the transaction.

SWWDB currently utilizes a program we refer to as PAS (Payment Authorization System) that was developed almost 20 years ago using web based front-end (Visual Basic/ASP.net) and a SQL back-end. PAS tracks case managers and clients, fund reservations, issuance of vouchers, and voucher payments. It provides reports based upon fund source, fund type (training or support), cost item, staff, open obligation/reservations, vendor, vendor type, training programs, and education providers. SWWDB also provides different instances of PAS to three (3) different workforce areas within the state of Wisconsin.

We are not able to update this software due to the language it’s programed in and are seeking to replace it with a new system that encompasses all current capabilities and some enhancements. We are currently seeking quotes to rewrite PAS with current code or recommend and implement a different option with the understanding that SWWDB will retain full rights and licensing of the new product. The selected firm will act as a programming firm working in conjunction with SWWDB management to rewrite and update this software but the firm will be able to choose the “how” of completing the project.

PAS-Specific Information

Instances of PAS

Office Location Test Site Live Site
Southwest WI Workforce Development Board X X
Bay Area Workforce Development Board X X
Fox Valley Workforce Development Board X X
North Central WI Workforce Development Board     X X

Copyrighted Support

SWWDB’s Payment Authorization System (PAS) is a web application that SWWDB developed in the early 2000’s specifically for Workforce Development Boards to assist with the distribution of vouchers and the management of limits for both clients and fund sources. Currently three (3) different Workforce Development Boards in the state of Wisconsin use this system besides SWWDB. SWWDB would retain all copyrights to the software and a contractor is not able to sell, take code from, nor utilize the system without express written prior approval and permission from SWWDB management. Non-disclosure agreement will be required.

When reprogrammed, PAS must be able to:

  • Issue obligations and vouchers for a myriad of vendors over a large customer base receiving financial assistance from multiple different fund sources and record payments against the obligations.

  • Track spending and any limitations by fund source.

  • Track individual limits per customer to ensure individuals don’t exceed their maximum and notify management when attempting to provide funds over the limit(s), which includes incorporating/importing all current system records.

  • Categorize expenditures between primary cost item categories of training and support but allow for cost and sub-cost items.

  • Run a variety of different reports intended to view data in different ways, such as by fund source, vendor, cost item, etc.

  • Provide some flexibility so we can update some basic reports and templates on our own without rewriting code to do so.

  • Allow management staff to edit voucher details if need be to ensure accurate payment details.

  • Maintain an event log/history of each transaction and modification to a voucher to see a full paper trail of events related to obligations.

Quote Structure

Given the information relayed above, submitters are to provide the following:

  • Quoted project rewrite price.

  • Proposed timeline and implementation.

  • Quoted hourly support rate post project for minor updates and changes.

  • An explanation of the proposed software to be retrofitted to create PAS or the language the software will be rewritten in.

  • Resumes of staff projected to work on the rewrite project ensuring to point out (if any) experience of staff who have a worked with VB.net to understand current programming.

  • Two corporate references for software coding projects.

  • A list of any value-added services that are included in the quoted price.


This RFQ does not commit or obligate SWWDB to award a contract, to commit any funds identified in this RFQ document, to pay any costs incurred in the preparation or presentation of a quote to this RFQ, to pay for any costs incurred in advance of the execution of a contract, or to procure or contract for services or supplies. Late quotes will not be considered. None of the total costs of this project will be financed with Federal money.

SWWDB reserves the right to request additional information.


Contract Determination and Award Details

SWWDB reserves the right to accept or reject any and all quotes, or any portion thereof; waive any defects found in quotations submitted; and to award a contract in such a manner as may be deemed right and proper, and in the best interest of SWWDB. SWWDB is not obligated to necessarily accept the lowest price quotation, but accept the quote most advantageous to SWWDB.

SWWDB will issue a fee-for-service contract for this project. The contract may be renewed for post-project support and updates for up to three additional years based upon cost, available funding, and contractor performance.

When all other factors are equal, SWWDB will patronize Wisconsin businesses, small and minority businesses, women-owned business enterprises, and businesses in labor surplus areas. However, the contractor must be licensed to do business in the United States of America.

Every effort has been made to make this quote specification complete and accurate; however, mistakes, errors or omissions in necessary equipment may have occurred. It is the responsibility of the vendor to bring mistakes, errors or omissions to the attention of SWWDB staff listed in this bid document immediately so corrections can be made. By submitting a quote, the bidder agrees to work cooperatively with SWWDB to address/comply with any needed changes.

No costs will be paid to cover the expense of preparing a quote or negotiating a contract for services.

SWWDB is a private 501(c)(3) Not-For-Profit (NFP) corporation and is thereby exempt from payment of all federal excise, state and local sales taxes. Such taxes shall not be factored in as part of the quote. However, due to SWWDB’s tax-exempt and 501(c)(3) status, any price breaks and or discounted rates for NFP entities should be denoted in the quote.

SWWDB does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or other applicable legislated categories, in its services, employment programs, and/or its educational programs and activities, including but not limited to enrollment, services, and access. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the SWWDB non-discrimination policies: Ryan Schomber, r.schomber@swwdb.org. By submitting a quote, respondents are providing an assurance that they will comply with the above nondiscrimination and equal opportunity provisions.

Questions & Answers

Question: I noticed that no federal funds will be used. Where is the funding coming from? The reason I ask is because that can drive some of the guardrails we need to follow. I know with state funded projects there are some RFP/RFQ regulations we need to adhere to.

Answer: Although SWWDB is primarily a federally grant-funded organization, federal funds are not going to be used to fund the software rewrite, but the software is currently and will continue to be used to do reporting for state and federal agencies.


Question: Will the Virtual Proposer’s Conference be covering the current functionality in more detail?

Answer: Yes. The plan is to provide a limited demo of the current program. However, we will require non-disclosure agreement (NDA) documents to be signed due to the exclusivity of the product. SWWDB will need a signed NDA before providing the link to the virtual proposer’s conference. The invite will only go to companies that submit a letter of intent by April 5th and have a signed NDA on file.


Question: Are you interested/available in a phone introduction for a brief overview?

Answer: To avoid any prospective proposer being given any unfair advantage in this competitive quotation process, all prospective proposers are receiving the same access to the same information at the same time. SWWDB will not be setting up individual calls with prospective proposers.


Question: I'm wondering if you have a formal letter of intent you use or if it can come in the form of an email acknowledgement?

Answer: An emailed Letter of Intent/format will work.


Question: I did receive it {the Non-Disclosure Agreement) and ran it past our legal team. They were curious on 2.7. If we were awarded the project, we would need to be able to rely on the reasonable accuracy of information a client provides us. Could you strike that provision?

Answer: The NDA came from our legal team and it’s what is required as part of the process. To be fair in the procurement to all prospective vendors, all vendors must have the same set of circumstances so we are unable to strike the clause for only one organization. SWWDB will enter into a contract with the selected proposer that outlines the full scope of work and mutually accepted terms and conditions.


Question: Will the vendor also responsible for hosting the new app?

Answer: No, we (SWWDB) will host it on our own servers.


Question: Do you also want a mobile version? Meaning it is more adjustable for viewing on mobile browser.

Answer: No.


Question: Will the old data be migrated or will we be starting fresh?

Answer: Something will have to be done to incorporate some of the old data into the new system. We understand that pulling over every single voucher from the current system may not be feasible but we have to have something so that the lifetime limit tracking can be done, even if it is data entering a beginning balance per customer for the values of support and training used in the current system.


Question: We got a really good look at how it works, thank you. Is there any other enhancements that need to be built or what is driving the need to rebuild?

Answer: Funding sources have changed and rules have changed since PAS was originally designed and implemented. We want to incorporate those changes. We also have some enhancements that we would like to see to the system. An example is an option for not actually tracking services against a lifetime limit as some grants have said the funds won’t count against a participant’s normal policy limits. So program rule/grant administration changes are part of the need to rebuild. Also there is the language it was programmed is becoming a bit obsolete. We’re having trouble finding programmers able to update when we have minor changes needed. And finally, there is a need to upgrade the level of security.


Question: Are there any specific hosting requirements or a language you want this built in?

Answer: We are not committed to any specific language. This needs to be a vouchering system that can track obligations by person, by limit, and by fund source.


Question: When do you expect the new system to be launch?

Answer: When it is ready. It would be great if it were by Christmas, but we want to ensure it’s functioning correctly and want it to be right.


Question: Will we need to provide end user documentation on how to use this system?

Answer: We’re (SWWDB) planning on doing this on our own right now.


Question: What's the budget limit for this system?

Answer: That’s what this quote process is going to help us set as it was originally designed so long ago, we know that price isn’t valid any longer.


Question: I didn't notice any "Client" facing screens - this is simply used internally by your team correct? So "clients" are not "users"?

Answer: Correct, there is no “client” facing portion. It’s for the use of our case managers, career planners, and our staff. Only the voucher printed from the system goes to the client.


Question: After the system launch, do you need system maintenance / security updates?

Answer: Possibly, in the RFQ it is requested to provide in the quote an hourly support rate to cover potential items that may come up (minor tweaks, upgrades) after the system is released and the project is live.


Question: What financial software is in use at SWWDB? Are you looking for any integration or will data continue to be exported for use in financial system?

Answer: SWWDB uses a fund accounting software called Orion. We are not looking for any data integration between the systems.


Question: Do you have client (customer) tracking system that your staff uses to manage their customer contacts?

Answer: No.


Question: What version of SQL is currently used?

Answer: SQL 2005, but in the process of upgrading to the latest version.


Question: Will a recording of the presentation/demo be made available?

Answer: No, we didn’t record the session. However, we are willing to share the talking points as well as the questions and answers raised in the proposer’s conference. That link can be found here.


Question: Our vision would be to use a platform, like Microsoft Dynamics or Salesforce, to address your needs. We think the cost could be less than a custom build, you would have far more flexibility with reporting, dashboarding, and workflows, and you wouldn’t be cornered into a custom built solution. This would mean a different mindset though, including on where the product is hosted. We also had some interesting thoughts around how the tool could interface with your end customers. I know in answering the question that was posed, you said that this really is an internal system.
Ultimately, we would love to work with you on this, but we would want to know…are you wanting your future state to really leverage technology that is available and create something that is measurably different and more useful than where you are currently?

Answer: SWWDB is not set on any specific platform. A canned software that can be customized and tailored to suit our needs is acceptable. As stated in the RFQ, “The purpose of this RFQ is to rewrite PAS with current code or recommend and implement a different option” as long the product is able to do what was demonstrated today and it can:

  • “Issue obligations and vouchers for a myriad of vendors over a large customer base receiving financial assistance from multiple different fund sources and record payments against the obligations.
  • Track spending and any limitations by fund source.
  • Track individual limits per customer to ensure individuals don’t exceed their maximum and notify management when attempting to provide funds over the limit(s), which includes incorporating/importing all current system records.
  • Categorize expenditures between primary cost item categories of training and support but allow for cost and sub-cost items.
  • Run a variety of different reports intended to view data in different ways – such as by fund source, vendor, cost item, etc.
  • Provide some flexibility so we can update some basic reports and templates on our own without rewriting code to do so.
  • Allow management staff to edit voucher details if need be to ensure accurate payment details.
  • Maintain an event log/history of each transaction and modification to a voucher to see a full paper trail of events related to obligations.”


Question: I understand your procurement process, though I would ask if it would be appropriate to have a conversation to understand if our overall strategy is aligned or not?

Answer: SWWDB very much appreciates respondents being respectful of our processes. Beyond sharing answers to questions with all respondents, SWWDB will not have individual conversation with potential proposers. This ensures full transparency and fair competition.

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