United States - U--Court Reporter Transcription Services
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- Opportunity closing date
- 14 June 2019
- Opportunity publication date
- 06 June 2019
- Value of contract
- to be confirmed
- Your guide to exporting
Added: May 30, 2019 10:28 am
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The Department of Veteran Affairs, Medical Center, Fayetteville, Arkansas, has a requirement for a Service Contract for Court Reporter Transcription Service. The Request for Information (RFI) is issued for market research purposes only to determine the availability of qualified business sources capable of providing the full range of services described below. Interested vendors parties responding to this RFI shall provide response via email to Surella.email@example.com no later than 12:00pm central time on June 12, 2019.
The scope of work for court reporter transcription service is to obtain a non-personal performance-based service contract for the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks (VHSO), Fayetteville, Arkansas 72703. The Contractor shall provide all personnel, labor, expertise, equipment, materials, supplies, vehicle, supervision, certification and all other technologies and technical services to provide court reporter transcription services for the VA. Court Reporter Transcription Services shall be provided for verbal testimony under sworn oath for, but not limited to: Administrative Investigation Boards (AIBs), Disciplinary Appeals Boards, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) hearings or Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) hearings, Office of Resolution Management, or Regional Counsel requirement. Court Reporting Services will be scheduled as the need arise and paid on an occurrence basis. Travel expenses will not be reimbursed by the Government.
2. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE
a. All services will be provided at the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks, Fayetteville, 1100 N. College Ave., Arkansas, 72703 in a conference room type setting. During the life of this contract, there may be a need or an occasion that may arise that will require the services of the Court Reporter to be at another room type setting other than mentioned. If so, the designated Facilitating Official will give explicit instructions as to where and when the needed services will be required.
b. Parking is allowed only in those areas not designated for patient use. Contractor shall not park on grassy areas and should be particularly concerned with pedestrian traffic and yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. All traffic laws and parking rules on the grounds are strictly enforced. Posted speed limits and all other traffic controls are to be observed at all times, and seat belt usage is mandatory on the VA grounds. Failure to follow these laws and regulations may result in a citation being issued that will have to be resolved through the Federal Court system.
3. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE
Base year plus four (4) one-year options.
4. HOURS OF OPERATION
a. The Fayetteville VA Health Care System s normal business hours are 7:30am to 4:00pm, Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays or when the Government facility is closed due to local or national emergencies, administrative closings, or similar Government directed facility closings.
b. Work hours for the contractor are set by the AIB Chair or designated Facilitating Official based on number of witnesses scheduled for that day. Care will be taken to avoid excessively long workdays (more than 9 hours, excluding travel time) and rescheduling of witnesses, however, this may become necessary due to issues revealed during testimony.
c. The designation of the primary and alternate point of contact by name and phone number who shall function as liaison with the COR (Contracting Officer Representative) for routine operations is required, and shall be available from 7:30am to 4:00pm, CST (central standard time), Monday through Friday, excluding Federal Holidays. Services required by this contract will only be required during normal business hours.
d. The ten holidays observed by the Federal Government are: New Year s Day; Martin Luther King s Birthday; President s Day; Memorial Day; Independence Day; Labor Day; Columbus Day; Veterans Day; Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day and any other day specifically declared by the President of the United States to be a national holiday. In the event a holiday falls on a week end day (Saturday or Sunday), the normal observance is the connecting weekday.
5. TYPE OF CONTRACT
This is a Firm Fixed Price contract.
a. The Contractor shall provide only qualified certified Court Reporters to perform these services. Only one Court Reporter shall be assigned to each administrative process from its beginning to end. If an unforeseen emergency should occur that would require absence of the assigned Court Reporter, the proposed substitute shall have comparable qualifications to those of the person being replaced. The contractor shall provide a detailed explanation of the circumstances necessitating the proposed substitutions, complete resumes for the proposed substitutes, and any additional information requested by the Contracting Officer.
b. The Contractor must provide competent, efficient real-time Court Reporters who have experience with the Administrative Investigation Boards (AIBs), Disciplinary Appeals Boards, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) hearings or Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) hearings, Office of Resolution Management, or Regional Counsel requirement and have the necessary training and education in Court Reporting with adequate and appropriate court reporting equipment, to produce accurate, timely, appropriately bound and indexed transcribed testimony from witnesses in these processes.
c. The Contractor shall assume full responsibility for the protection of its personnel furnishing services under this contract, in accordance with the personnel policy of the Contractor.
d. The Court Reporter must hold the certification as a National Court Reporters Association (NCRA) Registered Professional Reporter (RPR), or Certified Court Reporter (CCR). Appropriate credentials must be provided within one (1) week upon request.
e. The parties agree that such personnel shall not be considered VA employees for any purpose and shall be considered employees of the contractor. Note: To be in compliance with Homeland Security standards, each Court Reporter assigned to work at this Medical Center shall be subject to the same rules and regulations as all contracted employees.
f. The Contractor agrees that the assigned reporter shall perform all work in a business-like manner and according to the best standards of the reporting profession; and the Contractor, at all times, shall provide promptly at the time, date, and place designated, as many competent reporters and stenographers and maintain such staff and equipment at such times as may be necessary for the prompt recording of proceedings and the furnishing of satisfactory transcripts which shall conform to the requirements of this contract.Â
7. WORK REQUIREMENTS
a. The Contractor shall be punctual and present at all proceedings, demonstrate a professional demeanor, and provide all the necessary equipment to perform their duties and accomplish the deliverables described below. VHSO will provide seating and a work surface for the Court Reporter to perform their duties. The Court Reporter shall read portions of transcript during the proceedings at the request of the Board or other presiding body and ask speakers to clarify inaudible statements.
b. Administrative Investigation Boards are not scheduled in advance; therefore, short notice will be provided for the need of transcription services. Once scheduled, the schedule may change or even be cancelled at any time up until the time scheduled because of unforeseen events that may arise.
c. Proceedings may occur over multiple days and the services of the Court Reporter may be needed for varying lengths of time each day. Court Reporters who have experience with the Administrative Investigation Board (AIB) process, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Hearing, Human Resources Management Merit System Protection Board (MSPB) or arbitration hearings are preferred in the performance of this contract.
d. The number of witnesses can only be estimated in advance of the start of the process and may change during the investigation or activity.
e. Testimony may include a high incidence of technical terminology and may include vocabulary particular to a wide variety of medical fields. Contractor will transcribe testimony utilizing appropriate formats as agreed upon by Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks Quality, Safety and Value Risk Managers and the Contractor.
f. To the maximum extent practical, the Contractor shall assign the same reporter to a proceeding lasting more than one (1) day or, in the case of a lengthy proceeding, the same group of reporters.
g. Contractor agrees that the assigned reporter shall: (1) present himself or herself to the presiding official at least fifteen (15) minutes prior to the time and at the place of designated hearings, or in no case later than the time required to set up all required equipment and be able to begin verbatim reporting at the designated time; or, if the case of a telephonic investigation shall make telephone contact to the presiding official at least thirty (30) minutes prior to the start time; (2) at all times be governed by the instructions of the presiding official in matters affecting the composition of the record, adjournment to other times or places, the hours of hearing, and matters of like character; (3) report everything spoken while a hearing is in session unless the presiding official directs an off-the-record discussion; (4) not omit from the record any part of a proceeding for which notes have been taken as required, unless the presiding official so directs; (5) mark and number letter exhibits and arrange them in numerical or alphabetical order if directed to do so by the presiding official.
h. The Contractor is responsible for providing all court reporting equipment, its maintenance, and replacement during testimony, if necessary. Implement and maintain a quality control (QC) system that results in correction of potential and actual problems throughout the entire scope of contract performance. The QC system shall contain a mechanism for corrective actions without dependence upon government direction. In the event the Contractor experiences a problem in transcribing, e.g., unintelligible testimony or unfamiliar terminology, the Contractor shall interrupt the testimony for clarification. The questions and clarification shall not be transcribed in the testimony.
i. The Contractor shall maintain a quality standard of 98%. Percentage is based on ratio of errors to lines and number of instances where a witness refused to sign a completed testimony due to errors in content. Errors are considered to be:
1. Omitted material that is legible or intelligible;
2. Misspelled words;
3. Transposed letters;
4. Transcription that is not reflective of testimony, including material that is not dictated or entered material that is not part of the report such as the Board Chair s directions to the transcriptionist;
5. Punctuation or spelling which changes the meaning of the sentence;
6. Blank lines or @@@ for testimony that is clearly intelligible; and
7. No more than four (4) errors per 20 pages which do not change the meaning of the testimony, including, but not limited to, grammar, punctuation, spelling, spacing or transposed letters.
j. Contractor shall be responsible for correct spelling, including unfamiliar words, checking medical dictionaries and references when needed to distinguish between similar-sounding terms. All material shall be transcribed in the tense in which testified. Contractor shall be required to exercise professional judgment to recognize errors of omission, which are technical in nature (e.g., inability to transcribe due to poor dictation quality). Such errors shall be referred to the AIB Chair or Facilitating Official for clarification or correction.
k. Transcripts damaged by the Contractor shall be redone at no additional charge to the Government. Contractor shall send an email or memo to the COR stating that the dictation was damaged, give the reason, and provide an acceptable delivery date for the re-accomplished testimony. Damaged testimony will be destroyed using VA approved shredding methods.
8. DOCUMENT FORMAT
a. Transcripts shall be provided as pdf documents and be producible by regular office-type duplicating machines or laser printers. Paper shall be 8 1/2" X 11" in size.
b. Preprinted solid left and right marginal lines shall be placed on the transcript page so that the text begins 1-3/4 inches from the left side of the page and ends 3/8 inch from the right side of the page. Use left justification and single space text. Begin each question and answer 5 spaces from the let margin with 2 spaces from the Q and A to the text. Begin carry-over Q and A lines at the left margin. Type the appropriate prefix to indicate identity of a speaker, followed by a colon and two spaces.
Q. When you came on board to this facility,
did you take new employee orientation?
Q. Did they offer a sexual harassment class?
Did you attend?
MR. SMITH: Can I say something? This
training is held annually.
DR. JONES: I object. He needs to answer
all the questions.
c. Length of each transcript is dependent upon the number of questions and the length of the witness answers. All transcription shall be accomplished using a 10-pitch or 12-pitch type-style element. Transcripts shall be in final form and in accordance with the quality standards called for under the contract.
d. Lines are to be defined as 60 characters per line. Special formatting (underline, bold, etc.) shall not be used. Each line of typed testimony on a page will be numbered consecutively beginning with Line 1 and ending with the last line a minimum one inch from the bottom of the page and each page is consecutively numbered at the bottom right. Page numbers or notations are not considered lines of text. If a page contains less than 13 lines, no charge shall be assessed unless it is the last page.
e. No transcript shall include any text other than what was transcribed from testimony unless an explanatory note of an action directed by the AIB Chair or the Court Reporter requesting clarification. Each transcript will contain a cover page, identifying the witness whose testimony is covered, the date the testimony was given, and an index prepared for and included with that specific testimony.
f. A condensed version (4 pages of testimony per printed page) will also be provided via pdf.
a. All transcripts are due electronically no later than the 10th calendar day after testimony. Expedited transcripts may be requested by the designated Facilitating Official.
b. Contractor shall furnish complete, legible transcripts, which accurately reflect the full and complete verbatim record of the proceedings. In the event the presiding official finds one or more copies of transcripts to be illegible or have multiple errors, he/she may require the Contractor to correct the errors and furnish the corrected transcript within one (1) business day after receipt of notification and without additional cost for such replacement.
c. One electronic PDF copy of each individually completed transcripts shall be delivered to the designated Facilitating Official. The delivery date is established by the receipt of the electronic pdf copy.
d. Whenever a board, hearing or deposition is continued, recessed, or adjourned for a period of five or more calendar days, that portion of the transcript of the board/hearing/ deposition held prior to such continuance, recess, or adjournment shall be considered completed for computing time for delivery of the transcript.
e. Requests for Services will be made either by telephone and/or electronic email by the designated Facilitating Official.
f. Contractor will determine within a reasonable time, normally within 48 hours of the time the request for services was made, if a reporter will be available. If this determination is not received, the Department of Veterans Affairs reserves the right to obtain the service from another source and to charge the Contractor with any excess cost which may result there from. The Department of Veterans Affairs will be the sole judge in determining when to order service from another source.
g. Regardless of whether the delivery ordered is regular or expedited copies, if the Contractor fails to deliver the transcript to the Government within the applicable period prescribed, a reduction in price will be made as liquidated damages. The amount to be paid for the transcript will be reduced by two percent (2%) of the price for the transcript, computed at the rates set forth in this contract, for each Government business day or fraction thereof that delivery is delayed beyond the time limit prescribed depending on which has been ordered by the presiding official, up to a total of fifty percent (50%) of the transcript price. Computation of price reductions shall commence on the day following the date on which transcripts were to be delivered to the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks, Fayetteville, Arkansas. Failure to furnish a reporting service or delinquency in the delivery of a transcript is a default, and subjects the Contractor to the default provision of this agreement.
10. REMOVAL OF CONTRACTOR PERSONNEL
The Government, may, at its sole discretion, direct the Contractor to remove their employee from the Medical Center or designate facility for misconduct or for security reasons. Removal does not relieve the Contractor the responsibility to continue providing the services required under this contract. The Contracting Officer will provide the contractor with a written explanation to support any request to remove an employee.
11. CONFLICT OF INTEREST
a. Contractor shall not assign any person who is an employee of the United States Government to work under this contract if that employment would appear to cause a conflict of interest. In any instance where the Contractor has knowledge that any actual or potential situation may delay or threaten to delay the timely performance of this contract, the Contractor shall immediately notify the COR and the CO (Contracting Officer). This notice shall include all relevant information and corrective actions that are being taken. The Government reserves the right to hold the Contractor fully accountable for problems incurred because of such delays, including denial of delivery time extensions, if such notification is not provided.
b. In any instance where the contractor has knowledge that any actual or potential situation may delay or threaten to delay the timely performance of this contract, the contractor shall immediately notify the COR and the Contracting Officer. This notice shall include all relevant information and corrective actions that are being taken. The Government reserves the right to hold the contractor fully accountable for problems incurred because of such delays, including denial of delivery time extensions, if such notification is not provided.
c. If, after notice of a proposed hearing, the Contractor s employee does not appear at the time and place specified for the hearing, the Contractor shall be responsible for finding another equally qualified individual for the hearing. The Contractor may be responsible for the reimbursement to the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks, Fayetteville, Arkansas for any expenses over and above that which would have been incurred if the Contractor had performed in accordance with this Performance Work Statement. The Government may deduct such expenses from any other sums due or that may become due the Contractor. Â
12. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
a. Coordination for meeting the court reporter on the designated date and time shall be coordinated with the designated Facilitating Official.
b. Day to day communication between both contract parties occurs between the VA COR and the contractor s primary or alternate operations manager as necessary. Problems unresolved at this level will be referred to the VA contracting officer and the contractor's designated corporate officer.
13. VA SECURITY AND PRIVACY
a. Contractor will be responsible for ensuring compliance by its employees with the security regulations of the Veteran s Administration where work is performed under this Contract. Contractor will have to complete VA s Cyber Security and Privacy Act Training annually and sign the VA s Rules of Behavior document. Approximately one (1) hour of Privacy Training will be provided for all Contractors, and all documents will need to be reviewed and signed. Any new contractor employee(s) hired after the contract becomes effective must complete the mandatory VA provided Privacy Training prior to starting work.
b. Prior to the beginning of testimony, the court reporters must sign a Confidentiality Statement which contains a security statement indicating the Court Reporter will not duplicate, upload, or retain any electronic versions of testimonies they have processed. The COR retains the signed Confidentiality Statement as part of the project record.
14. STANDARD DEFINITIONS
a. Administrative Investigation Board (AIB): refers to a systematic process for determining facts and documenting evidence about matters of significant interest to VA. Members are the person or persons appointed by a Convening Authority to conduct the AIB.
b. Contracting Officer (CO): A sole individual appointed with the authority to enter into and administer contracts on behalf of the U.S. Government.
c. Contracting Officer s Representative (COR): An individual designated by the CO to act as his representative to assist in administering a contract. The source and authority for a COR are contained in the written letter of designation from the CO.
d. Convening Authority: The authority responsible for convening and supervising administrative investigations under VA Directive 0700. Convening Authorities include the Heads of VA Administrations and Staff Offices, Chief executives of VA facilities, and authorities senior to any of them in the VA organization.
e. EEO Hearings and MSPB and/or Arbitration Hearings: Similar processes and are established by a judge or other government source. EEO Hearings may be scheduled a few weeks in advance; MSPB hearings may be scheduled several weeks to a month or more in advance. These hearings may also have to be rescheduled or cancelled because of unforeseen events.
f. Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR): The laws governing Government contracting procedures.
g. Performance Work Statement (PWS): A statement that outlines the services needed for a Performance Based Service contract.
h. Quality Control: Those actions taken by a contractor to control the performance of services so that they meet the requirements of the PWS.
The NAICS code to be utilized for this acquisition will be 561492 Court Reporting and Stenotype Services
Interested capable sources to provide:
1) Company name, address, point of contact, phone number, e-mail address, and DUNS number.
2) SAM registration and/or ORCA as evidence of size status.
- Opportunity closing date
- 14 June 2019
- Value of contract
- to be confirmed
About the buyer
- Department of Veterans Affairs Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center United States
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