Request For Qualifications For Professional Planning Consultant

REQUEST FOR QUALIFICATIONS FOR PROFESSIONAL PLANNING CONSULTANT TO PROVIDE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN WRITING, POLICY DEVELOPMENT, GRAPHIC DESIGN, AND DOCUMENT PREPARATION SERVICES FOR “PLANOKC”

I.            SOLICITATION

The  City  of  Oklahoma  City,  hereinafter  referred  to  as  The  City,  invites  the  submittal  of Statements   of   Qualification   (SOQ)   for   a   professional   planning   consultant   to   provide comprehensive plan writing, policy development,   graphic design, and document preparation services for the City’s new comprehensive plan currently under development, called planokc.

A full scope of services is outlined in Section III of this Request for Qualifications. A conference call is scheduled for February 28th 2013 at 10:30 a.m. CST to answer any questions about the RFQ.  Participation in this call is highly recommended, but not required.

II.           BACKGROUND

It has been over 30 years (1977) since Oklahoma City’s current comprehensive plan, The OKC Plan, 2000-2020, was adopted and 10 years since the plan was last updated. In that time, the city has experienced significant demographic, infrastructure and economic changes. The existing comprehensive  plan  does  not  provide  adequate  guidance  for  the  changing  and  growing community, creating a critical need for a new comprehensive plan to guide future city growth through clear policies and implementation strategies.

In   2008,   the   City’s   Planning   Department   began   the   process   of   developing   the   new comprehensive plan. The planning process is guided by a team of eight professional planners, with support from several consultant studies and surveys. The plan is currently in the last public input phase and is targeted to be complete by the end of 2013.

To date, planners have completed issue identification and goal setting phases through a robust public input process. During the first half of 2013, Planning staff, City Staff Working Groups, and Stakeholder Groups will be developing draft policies. In addition, staff and consultants will be analyzing data and findings of studies and surveys that will inform policy development. Staff will compile and organize input and feedback though all planning phases and draft components of the plan document.

III.         SCOPE OF SERVICES

A  Professional  Consultant  (which  may  be  a  single  firm  or  a  consultant  team  consisting  of individuals and/or firms with specialized expertise) is sought to assist in this effort by providing the following services:

1)   Undertake  the  primary  responsibility  for  editing  and  writing  the  final  plan  document. Specific focus is required in drafting clear, concise policies that can be supported by findings from planokc studies and surveys, best practices, and/or successful application in other jurisdictions.

2)   Design the plan document, including development of the format and layout, as well as production of high-quality illustrations and graphics.  While the data collection & GIS mapping are being produced by professional planning staff, it is inevitable that further refinements and adjustments to some of the statistics, graphs and maps will be necessary to present a professional plan document. The Consultant should anticipate being involved in some activity of this type as part of the drafting of the plan element narratives.

3)   Develop  a  web-based  version  of  the  final  plan  with  cross  referencing  functionality,  an executive summary (or citizens’ guide) and a developers’ guide.

4)   Attend and participate in meetings, some of which will be conducted in person and some of which may be conducted via Web or phone conference call as follows:

•   2 in-person meetings with Planning staff;

•   3-4 meetings with a Citizen Advisory Team to discuss draft plan policies;

•   3 special focus group meetings; and

•   At  least  2  Planning  Commission  and/or  City  Council  meetings  at  which  the  plan  is presented.

The meetings listed above are a best estimate; the Consultant will be expected to attend whatever reasonable number of meetings is required to successfully execute the assignment.

IV.         STATEMENTS OF QUALIFICATION

Eight paper copies and a digital copy of the Statement of Qualifications (SOQ), as described herein and subject to the conditions herein, must be submitted by each proposer to the Office of the City Clerk, Municipal Building, 200 North Walker Avenue, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 73102 by 4:00 p.m. by March 12, 2013. The package containing the SOQs should be clearly labeled with the words planokc Writing & Design Consultant SOQ. Upon receipt, the City Clerk shall time stamp the SOQ. SOQs not timely received in the City Clerk’s office shall not be considered and shall be returned unopened.

The SOQ must be typed or clearly legible so as to convey to The City the proposer’s ability to undertake the required services. The proposer is also required to provide evidence, in the form of previously published materials  or the like, that demonstrate the proposer’s capacity to undertake the required services. Such materials may be provided digitally, but must be provided in the same envelope as the SOQ copies.  SOQs must be limited to 30 pages.  Work samples will not count towards the page limit.   The City reserves the right to thoroughly investigate the experience and record of the proposer.

Failure to submit detailed information will justify rejection of any SOQ submitted hereunder. Should  the  proposer find a discrepancy in, or omissions from the information and the description of the solicitation as herein contained, or should it be in doubt as to its meaning, the proposer shall at once, and not later than ten (10) days prior to the closing date for receiving SOQs, notify the City Manager in writing. The City Manager will, at his discretion, thereupon send a written instruction and/or clarification to all proposers in the form of an addendum to the SOQ Documents. THE CITY WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ORAL INSTRUCTION. Any questions regarding this SOQ shall be directed to Aubrey Hammontree, Planner IV, Oklahoma City Planning Department, 420 W. Main, Ste. 900, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73102, (405) 297- 1629, aubrey.hammontree@okc.gov.

Addenda:  Any  addenda  to  the  solicitation  issued  by  the  City  Manager  during  the  time  of solicitations for SOQs will be considered a part of these documents. Addenda will be furnished to each recipient of these documents. The proposer must acknowledge receipt of such addenda. Copies of the City Guidelines and Procedures relating to Requests for Qualifications may be obtained  from  the  Office  of  the  City  Clerk,  Municipal  Building,  200  North  Walker  Avenue, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 73102.

V.          SUBMITTAL CONTENT

At minimum, Statements of Qualification must include:

1.   The name, resume, background, and hourly rates of the managing professional and other key individuals, affiliates, and subcontractors to be associated with the project;

2.   A description of the ability and capacity of the proposer, the management structure, and the procedures and practices for management of the project;

3.   A description of past performance and references on similar projects to include names and roles of persons involved on previous projects as well as project fees;

4.   Relevant examples of documents, presentations, brochures, graphics, etc. produced by the proposer.

Failure to provide these minimum requirements will result in disqualification of the proposal.

VI.         SUBMITTAL EVALUATION

A Selection Committee will evaluate all submittals and will conduct interviews with finalists. Web conference interviews will be held on the afternoons of March 25 and 26, 2013.

The Selection Committee will evaluate the submittals based on the following criteria:

1.   Experience, Skill, and Qualifications.

SOQ must fully demonstrate the proposer’s expertise in planning policy and document design and layout, as well as its ability to produce illustrations, and writing of the highest order. Special consideration will be given for:

a)   Principals or project managers who possesses a graduate degree in planning or a very closely related field, who have extensive experience in municipal Comprehensive Plans, and  who  possesses  a  current  certification  from  the  American  Institute  of  Certified Planners.

b)   Consultants   with   an   extensive   record   of   achievement   in   municipal    planning engagements, which involves the creation or updating of comprehensive  plans, the primary  or  sole  responsibility  of  providing  the  professional  planning  narrative,  and presentation and facilitation skills.

c)    Consultants with experience and skill in designing professional-quality plan documents, including graphic design and web-based versions.

2.   Record of Past Performance.

SOQ must demonstrate experience in successful performance of similar work. Proposers must illustrate how past projects were successful and how these experiences are salient to successful fulfillment of the scope of this RFQ.

a)   Proposers must provide relevant experience and qualifications for all persons that will be actively engaged in the project.

b)   Proposers must reference only work completed by proposed project team members and must describe individual members’ contributions to referenced projects.

c)    Proposers must demonstrate they have the availability and capacity to successfully carry out the assignment in a timely fashion.

The  Selection  Committee  may  request  additional  information  to  assist  in  its  evaluation  of submittals, and the proposer will be expected to cooperate fully with such a request. The City reserves the right to reject any or all submittals.

Upon selection, the City and the chosen Consultant will negotiate a detailed scope of services with an associated, not-to-exceed fee.

VII.        CLARIFICATION

The City reserves the right to request clarification of information submitted and to request additional information from any or all of the proposers.

VIII.       DISQUALIFICATION OF SUBMITTALS

More than one proposal under the same or different names from any one proposer will not be considered.  Reasonable grounds for believing the proposer is interested in more than one proposal will cause the rejection of all proposals in which the proposer is interested. One or more or all proposals will be rejected if there is reason for believing that collusion exists among proposers.

A proposal will not be accepted from any proposer who is in arrears or is in default to the City upon any debt or contract, or who is a defaulter as surety or otherwise upon any obligation to the City, or has failed to perform faithfully any previous contract with the City.

IX.         SUBMITTALS TO BE RETAINED

No proposal may be withdrawn for a period of thirty (30) days after the scheduled time for receipt of proposals pending execution of a contract with the successful proposer.

X.           RESPONSIBILTY FOR SUBMITTAL

The  proposer  shall  carefully  examine  the  terms  of  the  proposal  documents  and  minimum requirements, and shall judge for itself all of the circumstances and conditions affecting its proposal.

XI.         INDEMNIFICATION

To the maximum extent permitted by law, the consultant shall be liable for and shall hold the City of Oklahoma City harmless from all damage or injury caused to persons or property arising out of the performance of any contract resulting from this Request for Proposals. The consultant shall agree to assume the defense of the City and their officers and employees in all legal proceedings with third parties connected with the consultant’s performance under this contract, and to pay all expenses, including court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees, incurred by the City directly, or indirectly on account of such legal proceedings.

The consultant’s obligations hereunder are expressly conditioned upon the City’s provision of notification to the consultant of any pending such claim or suit, the City shall cooperate with the consultant in its handling of any such claim or suit to the extent their interests do not conflict. In no event shall the consultant be obligated to indemnify or hold the City harmless with respect to any liability caused by the sole negligence of the City.

XII.        RIGHT TO ACCEPT OR REJECT SUBMITTALS

The City reserves the right to accept or reject, in part or in entirety, any or all proposals for any reason, to cancel in part or entirety the Request for Proposals, to readvertise for new proposals, and to waive minor irregularities and informalities.

XIII.       WITHDRAWAL OF SELECTION

The City reserves the right to withdraw its selection of a proposer without any liability to the City at any time before the contract has been fully executed by all parties and approved by the City.

XIV.       PROPRIETARY INFORMATION

All materials submitted to The City of Oklahoma City pursuant to this Request for Qualifications potentially become subject to the mandates of the Oklahoma Open Records Act, 51 Okla. Stat. §§ 24A.1. et seq. The purpose of this Act is to ensure and facilitate the public’s right of access to and  review  of  government  records  so  they  may  efficiently  and  intelligently  exercise  their inherent  political  power.  Almost  all  “records”,  as  that  term  is  defined  in  the  Act,  may  be disclosed to the public upon request. Except where specific state or federal statutes create a confidential privilege, persons who submit information to public bodies have no right to keep this information from public access nor reasonable expectation that this information will be kept from public access. See 51 Okla. Stat. §§ 24A.2.

If you believe that any of the information you have submitted to the City pursuant to this Request for Qualifications is confidential under a specific state or federal statute and therefore not subject to public access, you must comply with the following:

1.   Place said documents/records in a separate envelope marked “Confidential”. DO NOT label your entire response to the Request for Proposal as “Confidential” – label only those portions of the response that you feel are made confidential by state or federal law as “Confidential”. If only a portion of a document is confidential, please identify specifically the portions of the document you are claiming are confidential. Under the Oklahoma Open Records Act, the City is obligated to produce documents for public inspection even if the documents contain a portion, which is confidential, but can redact the confidential parts.

2.   For each such document for which you are claiming a confidential privilege, identify the federal and/or state law that creates said privilege, e.g., for trade secrets, see 21 O.S. § 1732 (Larceny of Trade Secrets) and the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, 78 O.S. §§ 85, et seq.

Should an Open Records request be presented to The City requesting information you have identified as “Confidential”, you will be responsible for defending your position in the District Court if needed.

If you fail to  identify  any records submitted as part of your statement of qualifications as “Confidential”  by  placing them  in the “Confidential”  envelope  AND you  fail to  identify  the specific state or federal law creating said privilege, you are agreeing that said records are not confidential and are subject to public access.

XV.        NO SUBMITTAL COMPENSATION

No proposer will be compensated for submission of a proposal or for any time or services provided as part of the proposal, evaluation or negotiation process.

XVI.       SCHEDULE OF PERFORMANCE

All contracted work shall be completed and submitted by a date set by written agreement between the City and the consultant.

XVII.      CONTRACT

Upon  selection,  a  Professional  Service  Contract  shall  be  prepared,  fully   executed  and encumbered before work is initiated. The contract may contain or incorporate the following:

•    standard clauses;

•    scope and nature of services;

•    non-collusion affidavit;

•    certificate of non-discrimination;

•    business relationship affidavit;

•    a requirement for insurance on City forms or forms acceptable to the City Manager;

•    a requirement to keep records and a right to audit;

•    a description of claim payment procedures and requirement to create and keep necessary records to support such claims;

•    a statement making all working papers, reports, documentation, and products the property of The City;

•    a description of the responsibilities of all parties;

•    timelines and deadlines for completion of tasks and services;

•    type, content and frequency of reports to be submitted;

•    method, schedule and total amount of fees and payments, which may include payments related to specific tasks or services;

•    procedures for resolving disputes (the resolution of such disputes shall be governed  by Oklahoma Law and any action shall be brought in a court of competent jurisdiction, state or federal, located in Oklahoma County, Oklahoma);

•    procedures for amending or terminating the contract or any task or services therein;

•    a requirement that all authorizations and approvals have been or shall be obtained from the holders of patents, trademarks, copyrights, licenses or other rights;

•    a requirement for indemnification and legal representation of The City, its trusts,  officers, agents and employees for acts and omissions of the Consultant;

•    a clause for inclusion by reference of the RFQ, the proposal, and the representations of the proposer  into  contract  and  a  statement  of  the  order  of  precedence  should the  terms, provisions or conditions thereof conflict;

•    a requirement for insurance naming The City as additional insured and evidenced  by  a certificate of insurance on a form approved by the City Manager; and

•    a right of The City to terminate the contract upon notice with or without cause.

All contracts shall be submitted to the Municipal Counselor’s Office for review and approval. The Municipal  Counselor’s  Office  will  forward  the  contract  documents to  the  City  Manager  for inclusion  on  the  formal  docket  for  final  approval  or  rejection  by  the  City  Council.  The memorandum to Council shall include number of RFQ’s obtained by firms and the number of firms submitting proposals.

Any document may be waived or amended as a part of contract negotiation subject to approval or ratification of the written contract by the City Council.  However, should  a requirement or document   be  imposed   by  law   (for   example   a  grant   or  federal   requirement)  then   such requirement or  document  may  only  be  waived  as permitted by  law.  Firms shall further be required to bring to The City's attention in the submittal any exceptions to these requirements.

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