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The National Academies

NCHRP 23-19 [RFP]

Practices for Transportation Agency Procurement and Management of Advanced Technologies

Posted Date: 11/16/2021

  Project Data
Funds: $225,000
Contract Time: 24 months
(includes 2 months for NCHRP review and approval of the interim report and 3 months for NCHRP review and for contractor revision of the final report.)
Authorization to Begin Work: 4/5/2022 -- estimated
Staff Responsibility: Camille Crichton-Sumners
   Phone: 202/334-1695
   Email: ccrichton-sumners@nas.edu
RFP Close Date: 1/21/2022
Fiscal Year: 2022

BACKGROUND

 

State departments of transportation (DOTs) have been effective in developing transportation procurement documents for highway construction. However, the procurement of new business operation technologies is less advanced. State DOTs are investing in enterprise network solutions to support agency operations (e.g., communications, asset management, and human resources management), while also seeking to leverage cutting-edge technologies to manage the transportation network. This may include artificial intelligence (AI)-based predictive analytics solutions and cloud-based big data analytics solutions. The diversity of procurements that agencies adopt and maintain and the expectations of its customers are changing. As complexity grows, state DOTs continue to use traditional procurement methods, which may entail making individual purchases without a long-term, big-picture view of the implications and objectives. This often leads to a number of procurement challenges for state DOTs, particularly when it comes to the provision of technological products and services.

 

OBJECTIVES

 

The objectives of this research are to develop a guide that will enable state DOTs to identify (1) successful procurement practices used when procuring new transportation systems technologies that meet industry standards; (2) procurement processes flexible enough to be adapted as technology changes; and (3) a sustainable means for practitioners within state DOT Information Technology and Procurement offices to implement and evaluate procurement processes.

 

Accomplishment of the project objective(s) will require at least the following tasks.

 

RESEARCH PLAN

 

The NCHRP is seeking the insights of proposers on how to achieve the research objectives. Proposers are expected to describe research plans that can realistically be accomplished within the constraints of available funds and contract time. Proposals must present the proposers' current thinking in sufficient detail to demonstrate their understanding of the issues and the soundness of their approach to meeting the research objectives.

 

The research plan should (1) include a kick-off teleconference with the research team and NCHRP convened within 1 month of the contract’s execution; (2) address how the proposer intends to satisfy the project objectives; (3) be divided logically into detailed tasks necessary to fulfill the research objectives and include appropriate milestones and interim deliverables; and (4) incorporate opportunities for the project panel to review, comment on, and approve milestone deliverables.

 

At a minimum, the research plan should incorporate the following activities.

 

1. Conduct a literature review related to the procurement of advanced technologies.

 

2. Summarize the state of practice of the procurement of advanced technologies including successful models and challenges encountered by state transportation agencies while procuring new technology.

 

Consideration should be given, but not limited to, the following questions or concepts.

 

  • The relationship between the system owner, system custodian, and procurement office as it relates to purchasing new technologies.

 

  • System sustainability (e.g., upkeep of supported devices, modernization, upgrades, operation, or integration of systems for operational technology and information technology assets).

  

  • The distinction between traditional construction procurement and procurement of new technology.

  

  • Options for a procurement process for the purchase of new technology.

  

  • Examples of requirements (federal guidelines and state legislation) that complement flexible procurement processes.

  

  • Pricing models that are reasonable to both vendor and agency.

 

  • Collaboration with industry stakeholders to identify emerging technology prior to initiating the procurement process. This may include long-term partnerships.

  

3. Prepare a practitioner’s guide that includes strategies for the procurement of new technologies. The guide should include a broad range of transportation technology assets, suitable for state transportation agencies, and include approaches that are flexible to aid in integration and sustained operability and functionality of the new technologies.

 

4. Prepare final deliverables.

 

Final deliverables should include, at a minimum (1) a Conduct of Research Report documenting the entire research effort; (2) a practitioner’s guide; (3) prioritized recommendations for future research; (4) a PowerPoint-style presentation describing the background, objectives, research approach, findings, and conclusions with speaker notes; (5) a stand-alone technical memorandum titled “Implementation of Research Findings and Products” (see Special Note D for additional information); (6) a presentation of findings to two AASHTO committees or councils concerned with the procurement of new technologies; and (7) a draft article suitable for publication in TR News (information regarding TR News publication may be found on the TRB webpage http://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/trnews/info4contributors.pdf ).

 

Proposers may recommend additional deliverables to support the project objectives.

 

Note:

1. No commitment to publish a TR News article is implied.

2. Following receipt of the draft final deliverables, the remaining 3 months shall be for NCHRP review and comment and for research agency preparation of the final deliverables.

 

SPECIAL NOTES

 

A. The Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals for the Transportation Research Board’s Cooperative Research Programs were modified in November 2020 to include maximum file size and page limits for all CRP proposals. Proposals must be submitted as a single PDF file with a maximum file size of 10 MB. The PDF must be formatted for standard 8 ½” X 11” paper, and the entire proposal must not exceed 60 pages (according to the page count displayed in the PDF). Proposals that do not meet these requirements will be rejected.  For other requirements, refer to chapter V of the instructions.

 

B. Proposals should include a task-by-task breakdown of labor hours for each staff member as shown in Figure 4 in the brochure, "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals" (https://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/crp/docs/ProposalPrep.pdf). Proposals also should include a breakdown of all costs (e.g., wages, indirect costs, travel, materials, and total) for each task using Figures 5 and 6 in the brochure. Please note that TRB Cooperative Research Program subawards (selected proposers are considered subawards to the National Academy of Sciences, the parent organization of TRB) must comply with 2 CFR 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. These requirements include a provision that proposers without a "federally" Negotiated Indirect Costs Rate Agreement (NICRA) shall be subject to a maximum allowable indirect rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs. Modified Total Direct Costs include all salaries and wages, applicable fringe benefits, materials and supplies, services, travel, and up to the first $25,000 of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract. Modified Total Direct Costs exclude equipment, capital expenditures, charges for patient care, rental costs, tuition remission, scholarships and fellowships, participant support costs and the portion of each lower-tier subaward and subcontract in excess of $25,000.

 

C.  NCHRP wishes to award the contract for NCHRP Project 23-19 for a fixed price of $225,000. This amount will not be subject to any adjustment by reason of the contractor’s cost experience in the performance of the contract.  In addition to providing a detailed budget, the proposer should provide a proposed schedule of project milestones, deliverables and progress payments tied to the detailed budget and schedule which will be inclusive of specific dates. For budgeting purposes, proposers should assume that (1) NCHRP will provide access to web-enabled teleconference services and (2) 1 in-person meeting with the NCHRP project panel will be held in Washington, DC. NCHRP will pay panel members’ travel costs for the meeting.

 

D. The NCHRP is a practical, applied research program that produces implementable products addressing problems faced by transportation practitioners and managers. The benefits of NCHRP research are realized only when the results are implemented in state DOTs and other agencies. Implementation of the research product must be considered throughout the process, from problem statement development to research contract and beyond completion of the research. Item 4(c), "Anticipated Research Results," must include the following: (a) the "product" expected from the research, (b) the audience or "market" for this product, (c) a realistic assessment of impediments to successful implementation, and (d) the institutions and individuals who might take leadership in deploying the research product. The project panel will develop and maintain an implementation plan throughout the life of the project. The research team will be expected to provide input to an implementation team consisting of panel members, AASHTO committee members, the NCHRP Implementation Coordinator, and others in order to meet the goals of NCHRP Active Implementation: Moving Research into Practice, available at https://onlinepubs.trb.org/onlinepubs/nchrp/docs/NCHRP_ActiveImplementation.pdf.

 

E. Proposals are evaluated by the NCHRP staff and project panels consisting of individuals collectively very knowledgeable in the problem area. Selection of an agency is made by the project panel considering the following factors: (1) the proposer's demonstrated understanding of the problem; (2) the merit of the proposed research approach and experiment design; (3) the experience, qualifications, and objectivity of the research team in the same or closely related problem area; (4) the plan for ensuring application of results; (5) how the proposer approaches inclusion and diversity in the composition of their team and research approach, including participation by certified Disadvantaged Business Enterprises; and, if relevant, (6) the adequacy of the facilities.

 

Note: The proposer's approach to inclusion and diversity as well as participation by Disadvantaged Business Enterprises should be incorporated in Item 11 of the proposal.

 

F. Copyrights - All data, written materials, computer software, graphic and photographic images, and other information prepared under the contract and the copyrights therein shall be owned by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The contractor and subcontractors will be able to publish this material for non-commercial purposes, for internal use, or to further academic research or studies with permission from TRB Cooperative Research Programs. The contractor and subcontractors will not be allowed to sell the project material without prior approval by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. By signing a contract with the National Academy of Sciences, contractors accept legal responsibility for any copyright infringement that may exist in work done for TRB. Contractors are therefore responsible for obtaining all necessary permissions for use of copyrighted material in TRB's Cooperative Research Programs publications. For guidance on TRB's policies on using copyrighted material please consult Section 5.4, "Use of Copyrighted Material," in the Procedural Manual for Contractors.


Proposals should be uploaded via this link: https://www.dropbox.com/request/5QlPlfZjDVaNfgvPdNqB
Proposals are due not later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on 1/21/2022.

This is a firm deadline, and extensions are not granted. In order to be considered for award, the agency's proposal accompanied by the executed, unmodified Liability Statement must be in our offices not later than the deadline shown, or the proposal will be rejected.

Liability Statement

The signature of an authorized representative of the proposing agency is required on the unaltered statement in order for TRB to accept the agency's proposal for consideration. Proposals submitted without this executed and unaltered statement by the proposal deadline will be summarily rejected. An executed, unaltered statement indicates the agency's intent and ability to execute a contract that includes the provisions in the statement.

Here is a fillable PDF version of the Liability Statement. A free copy of the Adobe Acrobat PDF reader is available at https://www.adobe.com.


General Notes

1. According to the provisions of Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 21, which relates to nondiscrimination in federally assisted programs, all parties are hereby notified that the contract entered into pursuant to this announcement will be awarded without discrimination on the grounds of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, or disability.

2. The essential features required in a proposal for research are detailed in the current brochure entitled "Information and Instructions for Preparing Proposals". Proposals must be prepared according to this document, and attention is directed specifically to Section V for mandatory requirements. Proposals that do not conform with these requirements will be rejected.

3. The total funds available are made known in the project statement, and line items of the budget are examined to determine the reasonableness of the allocation of funds to the various tasks. If the proposed total cost exceeds the funds available, the proposal is rejected.

4. All proposals become the property of the Transportation Research Board. Final disposition will be made according to the policies thereof, including the right to reject all proposals.

5. Potential proposers should understand that follow-on activities for this project may be carried out through either a contract amendment modifying the scope of work with additional time and funds, or through a new contract (via sole source, full, or restrictive competition).


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