Commercial Off-the-Shelf Software 2012 (COTS 2012): Frequently Asked Questions

Agencies

  1. Are Requesting Agencies required to send the Purchase Order Request for Proposals (PORFP) to every Master Contractor in the designated Functional Area or Areas?
  2. May a Requesting Agency send a PORFP to only to Master Contractors certified as Small Business Reserve (SBR)?
  3. May a Requesting Agency send a PORFP only to Master Contractors certified as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)?
  4. Who will actually send the PORFP to the Master Contractors?
  5. Is there a mailing list that a Requesting Agency can use to send out a PORFP?
  6. Is it required that Department of Information Technology (DoIT) review a Requesting Agency PORFP prior to release to the Master Contractors?
  7. How long will DoIT take to review an award recommendation for a PORFP over $25,000?
  8. Where do Agencies go to find guidance on the PORFP process?
  9. Are Requesting Agencies required to follow up with Master Contractors who fail to submit a PORFP Feedback Response Form?
  10. Are Requesting Agencies required to submit completed PORFP Feedback Response Forms to DoIT?
  11. How can a Requesting Agency track the status of a PORFP?
  12. Are procurements executed under the COTS Software  2012 Master Contract subject to DoIT review and assessment?
  13. Is there a limit to how much services can be acquired under a COTS Software purchase order?

Master Contractors

  1. How will Master Contractors know about PORFP opportunities for which they can compete?
  2. Do Master Contractors have to reply to every PORFP that they receive?
  3. Who do Master Contractors contact if they have questions or concerns about a PORFP that they have received?
  4. How can Master Contractors update contact information on the COTS Software  2012 Master Contract web page?
  5. May Master Contractors meet with agencies to find out their future needs?
  6. May Master Contractors submit a PORFP Feedback Response Form online for a previously issued PORFP?
  7. May Master Contractor edit a PORFP Feedback Response Form after it has been submitted?
  8. May Master Contractor submit one PORFP Feedback Response Form for multiple PORFPs?
  9. May Master Contractors view PORFP Feedback Response Forms submitted by other Master Contractors?
  10. How will the state use data provided in the PORFP Feedback Response Form?
  11. How do companies become COTS Software 2012 Master Contractors?
  12. What financial documentation is a Master Contractor required to provide with a response to a PORFP?
  13. How do Master Contractors add a Manufacturer Product Line for which they are newly authorized to sell?
  14. Where can a list of all the COTS Software 2012 Master Contractors be found?

Agencies:

  1. Are Requesting Agencies required to send the PORFP to every Master Contractor in the designated Functional Area or Areas?

    With the exception of PORFPs designated as Small Business Reserve (SBR) Only (See Question #2 below), agencies must email the PORFP to ALL Master Contractors listed under the Manufacturer Product Line for which the PORFP has been issued. If the agency does not know the Manufacturer of the product sought, the agency must email the PORFP to ALL Master Contractors in the Functional Area or Areas. Based on an evaluation of Master Contractor proposals received in response to a PORFP, agencies will select a Master Contractor to provide the requested COTS software, installation and/or training services, and/or manufacturer maintenance.

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  2. May a Requesting Agency send a PORFP only to Master Contractors certified as a Small Business Reserve (SBR)?

    Yes. PORFPs may be designated as SBR Only. Also see Question #3 below.

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  3. May a Requesting Agency send a PORFP only to Master Contractors certified as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE)?

    No. With the exception of PORFPs designated as SBR Only, agencies must email the PORFP to ALL Master Contractors listed under the Manufacturer Product Line for which the PORFP has been issued for a specific Functional Area or Areas. If the agency does not know the Manufacturer of the product sought, the agency must email the PORFP to ALL Master Contractors in the Functional Area or Areas.

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  4. Who will actually send the PORFP to the Master Contractors?

    The Point of Contact (POC) from the agency requesting the products and/or services must email the PORFP to the appropriate Master Contractors.

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  5. Is there a mailing list that a Requesting Agency can use to send out a PORFP?

    Yes. Click on Select Master Contract Contact List from the COTS Software 2012 Contract Links box. Follow the prompts to filter, select, and export to email the appropriate list of Master Contractors applicable to the agency’s PORFP. If the PORFP is designated as a Small Business Reserve (SBR) Only then agencies must filter, select and email the PORFP only to Master Contractors designated as SBRs.

    Because Master Contractors are required to regularly update their contact information with status or contact changes, agencies should export the data from the web page each time a PORFP is to be sent, rather than saving and reusing it in the future.

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  6. Is it required that DoIT review a Requesting Agency PORFP prior to release to the Master Contractors?

    No. DoIT review of the PORFP is not required prior to release to the Master Contractors. However, for awards over $25,000, the Requesting Agency must send an award recommendation to DoIT for review and approval prior to the award being issued.

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  7. How long will DoIT take to review an award recommendation for a PORFP over $25,000?

    The DoIT turnaround time on an award recommendation for a PORFP over $25,000 depends largely on the quality of the award recommendation by the Requesting Agency. Agencies should use the COTS Software 2012 Award Package Checklist to create the recommendation. Well written award recommendations with all necessary elements take less time to review and approve than those requiring follow-up with the agency.

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  8. Where do agencies go to find guidance on the PORFP process?

    Click on PORFP Procedures in the Contract Links panel.

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  9. Are Requesting Agencies required to follow up with Master Contractors who fail to submit a PORFP Feedback Response Form?

    Yes. Requesting Agencies are responsible to ensure that all Master Contractors who do not submit proposals do submit a PORFP Feedback Response Form.

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  10. Are Requesting Agencies required to submit completed PORFP Feedback Response Forms to DoIT?

    No. DoIT will review Feedback Response Forms during periodic contract management assessments.

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  11. How can a Requesting Agency track the status of a PORFP?

    Agencies must distribute and track the status of their own PORFPs. Agencies should establish electronic and physical files for organizing and storing all related email, proposals, feedback forms, etc. Agencies must also follow ADPICS procedures for establishing Purchase Orders, and can check ADPICS for DoIT approval of any Purchase Orders over $25,000.

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  12. Are procurements executed under the COTS Software Master Contract subject to DoIT review and assessment?

    Yes. DoIT will review and assess a portion of the procurements executed under the COTS Software 2012 Master Contract. The goal of such assessments is to determine that Requesting Agencies and Master Contractors are adhering to required contract procedures, terms and conditions.

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  13. Is there a limit to how much services can be acquired under a COTS Software purchase order?

    Yes, the value of Functional Area II services cannot exceed 49% of the purchase order.

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Master Contractors:

  1. How will Master Contractors know about PORFP opportunities for which they can compete?

    All Master Contractors listed under the Manufacturer Product Line for which a PORFP has been issued for a specific Functional Area are to receive the PORFP. Based on an evaluation of proposals received in response to PORFPs, a Master Contractor will be selected to provide the requested COTS software, installation and/or training services and/or manufacturer maintenance. If the PORFP is designated as Small Business Reserve (SBR) only, then the PORFP will be sent only to certified SBR Master Contractors.

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  2. Do Master Contractors have to reply to every PORFP that they receive?

    Yes. Each Master Contractor must submit one of two possible responses by the specified proposal due date to each PORFP it receives: 1) a proposal, or 2) a PORFP Feedback Response Form explaining why the Master Contractor is not submitting a proposal.

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  3. Who do Master Contractors contact if they have questions or concerns about a PORFP that they have received?

    Each PORFP includes a designated POC and complete contact information, to whom all questions or concerns must be addressed.

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  4. How can Master Contractors update contact information on the COTS Software Master Contract web page?

    Master Contractors have the ability to update their company's contact information as needed on the COTS 2012 Software Master Contract web site. Each Master Contractor received an email giving them a username and password to log in to the Master Contractor Administration System. If a Master Contractor did not receive login information, an email should be sent to COTSSoftware.doit@maryland.gov.

    Note - agencies will distribute PORFPs according to the Master Contractor's PORFP contact information shown on the web page. It is incumbent upon each Master Contractor to ensure that all of their information on the web site is correct. If at any time during normal business hours assistance is needed, please send an email to COTSSoftware.doit@maryland.gov.

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  5. Can Master Contractors meet with the agencies to find out their future needs?

    Master Contractors may meet with agencies to find out about their organization and business processes. Please do not spend time marketing the company and definitely do not discuss possible solutions to problems as this can disqualify Master Contractors from submitting proposals to the agency's formal solicitations.

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  6. May Master Contractors submit a PORFP Feedback Response Form online for a previously issued PORFP?

    Yes. Master Contractors may submit a PORFP Feedback Response Form online for any COTS Software 2012 Master Contract PORFP previously or currently issued, even if the PORFP has been awarded. However, Master Contractors are strongly encouraged to submit feedback forms in a timely fashion.

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  7. May Master Contractors edit a PORFP Feedback Response Form after it has been submitted?

    No. Once the PORFP Feedback Response Form has been submitted for each PORFP for which a proposal is not submitted, the data will be accessible only in "read only" format. The submitting Master Contractor should contact the PORFP POC to discuss off-line edits.

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  8. May Master Contractors submit one PORFP Feedback Response Form for multiple PORFPs?

    No. An individual PORFP Feedback Response Form must be submitted for each PORFP for which Master Contractors decline to submit a proposal.

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  9. May Master Contractors view PORFP Feedback Response Forms submitted by other Master Contractors?

    No. Master Contractors may not view PORFP Feedback Response Forms submitted by other Master Contractors.

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  10. How will the State use data provided in the PORFP Feedback Response Form?

    The information from the PORFP Feedback Response Form will assist DoIT in improving the quality of PORFPs and the PORFP process, and in ensuring that the COTS Software 2012 Master Contract is a successful vehicle for the business community and the State.

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  11. How do companies become COTS Software 2012 Master Contractors?

    Master Contractors may be added to the current COTS Software Master Contract every three years during an announced Expansion Window. Please contact COTSSoftware.doit@maryland.gov for more information.

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  12. What financial documentation is a Master Contractor required to provide with a response to a PORFP?

    A screen shot of the current MSRP as of the date of the PORFP response must be provided with each proposal. Subject to the approval of the State of Maryland, a comparable substitute directly from the COTS Software Manufacturer or Distributor may be acceptable.

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  13. How do Master Contractors add a Manufacturer Product Line for which they are newly authorized to sell?

    Each Master Contractor in a given Functional Area may add additional Manufacturer Product Lines in that Functional Area throughout the life of the COTS Software 2012 Master Contract. To add a Manufacturer Product Line, a Master Contractor must submit a Letter of Authorization signed by the Manufacturer or Distributor for each new product line proposed. Signed Letters of Authorization must be submitted in PDF format to COTSSoftware.doit@maryland.gov. Once the Letter of Authorization has been confirmed by DoIT, the Manufacturer Product Line will be added to that Master Contractor's list of product lines available.

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  14. Where can a list of all the COTS Software 2012 Master Contractors be found?

    Under Master Contractor Contact Information in the Contract Links panel.

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