State of Connecticut

This page was last updated on: April 15, 2011

REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL (RFP)
UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION ADMINISTRATION

I. STATEMENT OF OBJECTIVES

The State of Connecticut, Office of the State Comptroller, is soliciting proposals to enter into an agreement with a contractor qualified to administer the State of Connecticut Unemployment Compensation Program. The contractor will be thoroughly knowledgeable in Connecticut Unemployment Compensation laws and in responding to the RFP must fulfill the defined expectations in this RFP. The contract will be effective for a three-year period beginning April 1, 2007 ending March 31, 2010.

II. BACKGROUND

The Comptroller has engaged, through contract, the services of an administrator for its Unemployment Compensation Program since 1987. The selected administrator reports to the Retirement & Benefit Services Division, Employee Benefits Unit and will not operate as an independent agent unless specifically requested by the Division.

III. SCOPE OF WORK

The Comptroller's Office will utilize the services of the contractor to provide administration and management of the Unemployment Compensation claims filed by State employees and counseling to and representation of the State at all levels of administrative hearings involving such claims.

IV. EXPECTED RESULTS

The contractor is expected to respond to the following requirements:

  1. Evaluate all pertinent State personnel handbooks and Unemployment Compensation procedures; determine the best method of coverage under the law.
  2. Processing and storage of employee payroll and separation data.
  3. Processing of all unemployment claim forms; responding promptly and accurately to all claim inquiries.
  4. Protesting of all questionable claims and improper determinations.
  5. Auditing of the claimant's eligibility, the State's liability, and the benefit period for each claim.
  6. Counseling and representation at all levels of unemployment compensation administrative appeal hearings, including appearing at first level hearings where in consultation with the agency it is deemed prudent to protect the state's interest.
  7. Auditing of all benefit charges assessed against the State and protesting of all improper charges.
  8. Ensure that all disqualifications are fully enforced.
  9. Production and appropriate distribution of management reports.
  10. Provide unemployment compensation claims procedural manuals for State of Connecticut management personnel.
  11. Implement unemployment cost control programs for reducing unemployment compensation costs. Make written and verbal recommendations to reduce unemployment compensation costs.

V. LEVEL OF ACTIVITY

Recognizing that the level of unemployment claims activity may vary greatly over time, the State experienced the following during Fiscal Years ending June 30, 2004, June 30, 2005 and June 30, 2006.

2004 2005 2006
New Claims 2575 2043 2011
Total Active Claims 2201 1624 1585
Claims Protested or Appealed 627 448 433
Pending Claims 126 88 62
Hearings Attended 116 119 92

VI. PROPOSAL SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

A. The Contractor shall submit an original plus four (4) copies of its proposal in loose-leaf binders. Proposals shall be submitted to:

STATE OF CONNECTICUT
Office of the State Comptroller
Attention: Marianne Courchaine
Fiscal Policy Division
55 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106

B. Contractors interested in submitting a response to this RFP must submit a Letter of Intent by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 24, 2007. The Letter of Intent should be addressed to the screening committee and must be submitted via email to osc.rfp@po.state.ct.us.

C. Contractors who may have questions regarding the proposal must submit them in writing addressed to the screening committee at: osc.rfp@po.state.ct.us by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 24, 2007. It is expected that the screening committee will provide responses to those questions submitted by the deadline date by 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 31, 2007.

D. No phone calls will be accepted relative to this RFP.

E. Final proposals must be in writing and received before the close of business, 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 7, 2007.

F. Each proposal must include the following:

1. Title Page

A title page indicating the date, subject, name of the Contractor, central office address and the local office address - if a local office will be performing the contracted services - and the address, telephone number, name and title of the Contractor's contact person for the purpose of clarifying any information submitted.

2. Organizational Structure

A general description of the Contractor's organization, including the legal structure (corporation, partnership, franchise, etc.), the number of professional and support staff employed and the primary business functions (benefits consulting, actuarial consulting, asset management, insurance provider, etc.).

3. Experience

A description of the Contractor's experience specific to the services requested in this RFP, including the relevant experience of the staff/principal(s) who would be assigned to this project. List all comparable governmental agencies, corporations, and organizations that the staff members designated for the engagement of services sought by this RFP have provided these services to within the past two (2) years, specifying those with a unionized workforce. In addition, the listing should include the number of years that the Contractor has been retained by comparable governmental agencies, corporations, and organizations to provide such services. Contractors are encouraged to identify other experience, factors, or strengths that they possess which may assist the State in its selection process.

4. References

Names, addresses, and phone numbers of individuals who can serve as references. References should be managers and union officials who have worked directly with the Contractor in engagements relevant to the scope of the work proposed in the RFP.

5. Computer Systems

Description of on-site computer system Contractor will be using.

6. Backup Equipment

Description of alternative backup for all equipment which may be used by Contractor.

7. Subcontracts

Identification of the subcontractor(s), if any, to be utilized in meeting the service requirements of this RFP and a listing of the specific tasks to be assigned to the subcontractor(s).

8. Recommended Work Plan

A statement of the Contractor's capacity to provide each of the deliverables specified in Section III of this RFP within the expressed time frame.

9. Work Samples

A sample of any relevant publications, reports, policy and procedural recommendations, memoranda, etc. from previous consulting engagements that the Contractor transmits to clients on a regular basis concerning the scope of work proposed in this RFP.

10. Fee Structure

Provide aggregate hourly and per diem rates, along with the total maximum, not to exceed cost estimate. The State is not responsible for any costs incurred by any party in responding to this RFP.

The State of Connecticut is exempt from the payment excise, transportation, and sales tax imposed by the Federal Government and the State; accordingly, such taxes must not be reflected in the proposed price.

11. Conflict of Interest

Disclose any current or past (within the last ten years) business relationships which may pose a conflict of interest.

12. Regulatory Issues

Disclose any regulatory problems experienced in the past ten years.

13. Affirmative Action

The proposal must include a summary of the Contractor's experience with Affirmative Action including a summary of the Contractor's affirmative action plan and the Contractor's affirmative action policy statement.

Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies Section 46a-68j-30(10) require agencies to consider the following factors when awarding a contract that is subject to contract compliance requirements:

a. The Contractor's success in implementing an affirmative action plan;

b. The Contractor's success in developing an apprenticeship program complying with Section 46a-68-1 to 46a-68-17 of the Connecticut General Statutes, inclusive;

c. The Contractor's promise to develop and implement a successful affirmative action plan;

d. The Contractor's submission of employment statistics contained in the "Workforce Analysis Affirmative Action Report," indicating that the composition of its work force is at or near parity when compared to the racial and sexual composition of the work force in the relevant labor market area; and

e. The Contractor's promise to set aside a portion of the contract for legitimate small Contractors and minority business enterprises, where applicable. (See CGS 32-9e)

The State of Connecticut's Contract Compliance Forms applicable to State contracts are available at http://www.state.ct.us/chro/metapages/legalprot/CC-Forms.htm, please click on the four forms indicated below to download the pdf files from the CHRO web page:

Notification to Bidders
This document gives notice that the contract to be awarded is subject to the contract compliance requirements mandated by State statutes and regulations.

• Workforce Analysis Affirmative Action Report-State Contractors
This employment information form is used to report the racial and sexual composition of a firm's or corporation's workplace. The form must be completed by the Contractor and submitted with the proposal.

Affidavit for Certification of Sub-Contractors as Minority Business Enterprises
Upon award of a contract, this form is used to document the good faith efforts of a Contractor to include minority business enterprises as subcontractors (including suppliers) on the State contract.

Contract Compliance Notice Poster
This notice concerns the prohibition of discrimination in employment practices. Upon award of a State contract, the notice must be posted by the Contractor in conspicuous places accessible to all employees and applicants for employment.

More information about the State of Connecticut's Contract Compliance requirements is available on the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities' website at www.state.ct.us/chro under "Contract Compliance."

14. Authorized Agent

An authorized agent for the Contractor with authority to negotiate and contractually bind the Contractor must sign the proposal; such individual's title, address, and telephone number must also be provided.

15. Campaign and Gift Affidavit

If the Contractor's bid exceeds $50,000 for any one year of the contract, the Contractor is required by the Office of the State Comptroller to provide an affidavit detailing campaign contributions and any gifts, as that term is defined in Section 1-79(e) of the general statutes, given to officers or employees of the Office of the State Comptroller for the two year period preceding the issuance of the Request for Proposals. The affidavit is required to be submitted as part of the contractor's proposal.

The gift affidavit is provided as Attachment I to this RFP.

At the contractor's option, an Executive Summary may be included in the Proposal.

VII. INSTRUCTIONS TO CONTRACTORS

Contractors responding to this RFP must be willing to adhere to the following conditions and must affirmatively state their adherence to these requirements with a transmittal letter appended to their proposal response. All proposals will be kept sealed and safe until the deadline for submission has passed.

1. Conformance with Statutes - Any contract awarded as a result of this RFP must be in full conformance with statutory requirements of the State of Connecticut and the Federal Government.

2. Ownership of Proposals - All proposals submitted in response to this RFP are to be the sole property of the State, and subject to the applicable Freedom of Information provisions of Connecticut General Statutes, Sections 1-19. Contractors are encouraged not to include any information that is proprietary or not readily available to the public from other sources. If any of the information requested herein is of a proprietary or confidential nature so that it would be exempt from disclosure under the applicable Freedom of Information provisions of Connecticut General Statutes, the Contractor is advised to isolate the information from the other material and label that portion of the submission CONFIDENTIAL.

3. Ownership of Subsequent Products - Any product, whether acceptable or unacceptable, developed under a contract award as a result of this RFP is to be the sole property of the State of Connecticut, unless explicitly stated otherwise in the RFP or contract.

4. Availability of Work Papers - All work papers and data used in the process of performing this project must be available for inspection by the State of Connecticut Auditors of Public Accounts for a period of three (3) years or until audited.

5. Timing and Sequence - All timing and sequence of events resulting from this RFP will ultimately be determined by the State.

6. Stability of Proposed Prices - Any price offerings from Contractors must be valid for a period of one hundred eighty (180) days from the due date of the Contractor proposals.

7. Oral Agreements - Any alleged oral agreement or arrangement made by a Contractor with any agency or employee will be superseded by the written agreement.

8. Amending or Canceling Requests - The State reserves the right to amend or to cancel this RFP prior to the due date and time, if such action is deemed to be in the best interest of the State.

9. Rejection for Default or Misrepresentation - The State reserves the right to reject the proposal of any Contractor that is in default of any prior contract or for misrepresentation.

10. State's Clerical Errors in Awards - The State reserves the right to correct inaccurate awards resulting from its clerical errors.

11. Rejection of Qualified Proposals - Proposals are subject to rejection in whole or in part if they limit or modify any of the terms and conditions and/or specifications of the RFP.

12. Contractor Presentation of Supporting Evidence - A Contractor, if requested, must be prepared to present evidence of experience, ability, service facilities and financial standing necessary to satisfactorily meet the requirements set forth or implied in the proposal.

13. Changes to Proposal - No additions or changes to the original proposal will be allowed after submittal. While changes are not permitted, clarification at the request of the State may be required at the Contractor's expense.

14. Expenses Incurred - The State will not reimburse any Contractor for any costs or expenses incurred in preparing proposals or in any other connection with the RFP, including travel expenses relating to an oral presentation. All expenses incurred by the Contractor in preparing and submitting proposals are the sole responsibility of the Contractor.

15. Collusion - By responding to this RFP, the Contractor implicitly states that the proposal is not made in connection with any competing Contractor submitting a separate response to the RFP, and is in all respects fair and without collusion or fraud. It is further implied that the Contractor did not participate in the RFP development process, had no knowledge of the specific contents of the RFP prior to its issuance, and that no employee of the agency participated directly or indirectly in the Contractor's proposal preparation.

No Contractor or Contractor's representative may contract an employee of the State or their representatives regarding their proposal until final selections have been have been made. Until such time as final selections are made, any such contact will be considered collusion under the "Terms and Conditions" herein and may be grounds for disqualification of the Contractor's proposal.

16. Conformance to Instructions - All responses to the RFP must conform to the instructions herein. Failure to provide any required information, provide the required number of copies, meet deadlines, answer all questions, follow the required format, or failure to comply with any other requirements of this RFP may be considered appropriate cause for rejection of the response.

17. Appearances - In some cases, Contractors may be asked to appear to give demonstrations, interviews presentations or further explanation to the RFP's screening committee.

18. Standard Contract and Conditions - The Contractor must accept the State's standard contract language and conditions. See Standard Contract and Conditions.

19. Entire Agreement - The contract will represent the entire agreement between the Contractor and the State and will supersede all prior negotiations, representations or agreements, alleged or made, between the parties. The State shall assume no liability for payment of services under the terms of the contract until the successful Contractor is notified that the contract has been accepted and approved by the Office of the State Comptroller and by the Office of the Attorney General. The contract may only be amended by means of a written signed agreement by the Office of the State Comptroller, the Contractor, and the Office of the Attorney General.

20. Rights Reserved to the State - The State reserves the right to accept or reject any or all proposals submitted for consideration. The State reserves the right to award in part, to reject any and all proposals in whole or in part, to waive technical defects, irregularities and omissions if, in its judgment, the best interest of the State will be served.

21. Delivery of Responses - RFP responses must be in sealed envelopes upon which a clear indication has been made of the RFP reference title, as well as the date and time the bid is due. The envelopes should also be marked “CONFIDENTIAL”. The name and address of the vendor must appear on the envelope. FAX responses are not acceptable.

22. Signature and Responsible Persons - The Proposal must provide name, title, address, and telephone number for individuals with authority to negotiate and contractually bind the contractor, and for those who may be contacted for the purpose of clarifying the information provided with the Office of the State Comptroller. While companies may designate representatives to submit proposals, it is the policy of the State Comptroller's Office, with respect to products under the Program, to contract only with carriers selected to provide coverage.

23. “Not to Exceed” Quotations - All cost estimates will be considered as “not to exceed” quotations.

24. Contractor's Conference - There will be no contractors' conference.

VIII. STANDARD CONTRACT TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Be advised that the State has certain contract requirements. Contractors responding to this RFP must be willing to adhere to the following contract requirements and must affirmatively state their adherence to these terms and conditions with a transmittal letter appended to their proposal response.

Attached as Attachment II are the Terms and Conditions which must be strictly adhered to. In addition, the Contractor must agree that the contract shall be governed by, construed, and enforced in accordance with the laws and court decisions of the State of Connecticut without giving effect to its principles of conflicts of laws. Under no circumstances may a State contract contain limited liability and/or binding arbitration provisions. The State may not indemnify a Contractor or waive its sovereign immunity.

Additionally, please be advised that the State will require the following provision:

At all times, Contractor shall utilize approved, qualified personnel necessary to perform the services under this Agreement.

Contractor shall advise the State promptly, in writing, of any labor related occurrence known to Contractor involving Contractor's employees which may reasonably be expected to affect Contractor's performance of services under this agreement. Notwithstanding such occurrence, the Contractor shall at all times assign competent personnel/staff to perform the services contracted for under this agreement. If at any time the State in its sole discretion determines that the personnel/staff assigned to perform the services under this agreement is incompetent, dishonest or uncooperative, State reserves the right to request that Contractor reassign personnel/staff and arrange for an employee(s) or subcontractor(s) satisfactory to State to provide the services otherwise performable by the Contractor hereunder.

Contractor shall review any requests by State to reassign personnel/staff. In requesting such reassignment of personnel/staff, State shall give thirty-days (30) notice to Contractor of State's desire for such reassignment. Contractor will then have fifteen (15) days to investigate the situation and attempt, if it so desires, to resolve the situation to the mutual satisfaction of the parties. Should the parties not reach a mutual resolution, then fifteen (15) days thereafter, or thirty (30) days from the date of the notice of reassignment, the State may terminate this agreement by providing written notice.

IX. EVALUATION OF PROPOSALS

Each Proposal will be evaluated by a screening committee against the following criteria to determine which contractor is most capable of implementing the State's requirements.

1. The benefit of the product or service to state employees and retirees.

2. The price or rate of the product or service including it's competitiveness of proposed cost.

3. The skill, ability, competence and integrity of the Contractor and Contractor's personnel to deliver such product and service including the Contractor's understanding of the project and its purpose and scope, as evidenced by the proposed approach and the level of effort.

4. The past performance of the Contractor. In considering past performance, the screening committee will evaluate the skill, ability and integrity of the applicant in terms of the applicant's fulfillment of past contract obligations, and experience or lack thereof in delivering the same or similar products and services.

5. At the Comptroller's option, presentation to a screening committee.

6. Any other information which the screening committee or the Comptroller deems necessary.