UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA GENERAL ADMINISTRATION ADDENDUM 2 For RFI# #68-GA3000000004 TITLE: Multi-Campus Research Administration Software Solution USING AGENCY: The University System of North Carolina ISSUE DATE: February 16, 2015 DUE DATE: 10:00 a.m. Friday, March 20, 2015 ISSUING AGENCY: UNC-General Administration 910 Raleigh Road Chapel Hill, NC 27515 Addendum 2: Prospective Bidder’s Questions and Answers Multi-Campus Research Administration Software Solution RFI #68-GA300000004 Response to Questions Submitted to RFI 1. How do you want the proposals submitted? In hard copies? If so, how many? It states no email submission is accepted, but then it specifically states to send word and .pdf files. Please confirm submission requirements. In accordance with State of North Carolina requirements, responses must be submitted in hard copy form to the address indicated on page 1 of the RFI by the deadline specific. Please submit 4 copies of the response package as indicated on the RFI cover page. Also submit electronic copies as indicated, including file labeling and format, under 5. Preparing a Response to [email protected] 2. Has any funding been allocated for the Multi-Campus Research Administration Software Solution and if so, from where? If not, where will the UNC System look for funding? In the event the UNC System decides to move forward with a procurement, is there an estimated time frame available for when the UNC would like to release the RFP? Is there a technical contact in regard to this project? Recommendations based on responses to the RFI will be submitted to leadership by June 30, 2015. Any subsequent RFP would be issued after approval from leadership. Technical questions should be directed to Priscilla Smothers ([email protected]) as indicated in the RFI. 3. We understand that the RFI is focused on the software solution and that it may lead to an RFP for the acquisition and implementation of the solution….will our company be able to bid the implementation of a solution at that time? We have noted the sentence in RFI Section 1.2 which states, “Vendors are not required to respond to an RFI, and a vendor’s failure to respond to an RFI will not prohibit the vendor’s participation in any competitive solicitation that may result from the RFI.” Recognizing the RFI is focused on a software vendor solution at this time, will an implementation firm who will ultimately bid a software solution be able to respond to a future RFP (to include both software and implementation components)? Yes – a respondent would be able to submit a bid for software and implementation components in response to an RFP that may be issued. 4. Questions specific to stated requirements: 12 - Allow multiple institutions to customize and utilize the System simultaneously Q: Can you provide examples of the types of customizations you feel would be required for one institution that would not apply to all? This type of segregation could prove difficult in a multi-campus environment depending on the depth of the change. Examples: (1) One institution receiving a subaward may prefer to call the recipient of the federal award the "prime recipient" or just "recipient" while another may prefer the term "pass-through entity." This would involve different labeling of the same data field for different campuses. (2) One institution may want to collect all the descriptive information about a project at the proposal stage (such as type of award = grant, contract, cooperative agreement, purchase order, etc.) while another institution may want to minimize data capture at proposal stage and only collect all the details at the award stage when all the details are known, not just anticipated. (3) Different institutions will want to imbed institution-specific hyperlinks (such as links to institutional policies, forms, etc.) to enable users to refer to information outside of the ERA system. (4) An anticipated common customization would be adding choices to picklists for standard data elements. Another would be the ability to add entirely new data elements (for example, a data item that designates a particular proposal as one related to the institution's Quality Enhancement Plan. (5) Campuses may have varying routing/approval processes and questionnaires for COI disclosures. (6) The chart of accounts may vary from campus to campus. 25 - Accommodate addition of integrated user-specified compliance modules Q: Can you provide the types of systems and the integrations you are seeking so we can best understand the need? Integration is definitely possible, we are just curious about what you're seeking. No particular compliance add-on has been identified. However, it is likely that the research administration community will continue to see added compliance requirements in the future that will require significant data management (as we saw with the PHS FCOI/COI requirement). Documenting notification of employees/ students of whistleblower protections may be the next big challenge. 32 - Allow user-directed locking of data fields (with administrative override) and provide reports on unanticipated data changes on a daily basis Q: Can you provide an example of the type of data field(s) you would wish to lock? Our system locks sections but not to a field level currently. Dates and dollar amounts are most critical because they are used frequently for reporting. There may be other critical data elements an institution wishes to control. 56 - Allow the pre-award office to build new budget templates and add them to the system Q: Our system does not provide "budget templates" per se. Budgets can be created on template proposals and copied into a new proposal, would that be sufficient? Respondents should clearly identify which functionalities their solutions do and do not currently provide. 59 - Allow linking to data management planning tools (e.g., DMP tool) and agency examples Q: We're not familiar with DMP, could you provide more detail on this requirement? DMP stands for Data Management Plan. One DMP tool used by universities to assist investigators in developing this part of their proposal and then following through is DMPTool (see http://www.dmptool.org). DMPTool is cited only as an example; there may be other resources for data management planning for which different institutions may wish embed links in the ERA system. 90 - Allow for assumption of "risk" pre-award account request, routing, and approval Q: Can you elaborate on your process for this requirement. Our system tracks sponsor and institution authorized spending pre-award on the award record and that record can be routed for appropriate approvals, is that the type of scenario you're referring to? Yes 93 - Accommodate additional user-specified descriptive data elements (e.g., CHESS code) Q: Is this a reference to the need for custom fields? Yes. For example, CHESS Code is the classification of projects by activity type (R&D, instruction, clinical trial, service, etc.). Currently, all institutions and UNC-GA use the same CHESS code listing, but some activities do not fit current codes well. Institutions may wish to add codes for internal purposes. 130 - Ability to capture and track organizational COIs Q: Is this COIs for you institutions, or for staff from an external organization? This question specifically applies to Institutional Conflict of Interest 137 - Include an email notification function from IRB to grants accounting to stop expenditures for non-compliance Q: Can you elaborate on what "non-compliance" means in this context? Non-compliance would include expiration of a protocol before all human subject work is completed, suspension or termination of a protocol by the IRB or failure to provide the IRB required modifications/information. 145 - Incorporate animal facilities space management function Q: Is this requirement related to the management of animals, space, or both? If animals are related to a specific space is that sufficient or does the space itself require management? This refers to management of animals within the available space so that unused capacity is evident. 5. To what extent are business processes in each of the functional areas (e.g. pre-award/award acceptance management, post-award management, and research compliance management) harmonized/standardized across campuses? Each campus has its own business processes that it believes to be best practices for that institution. We are seeking to identify software solutions that have sufficient flexibility to accommodate different business practices across the institutions. 6. What are the data conversion requirements from legacy research compliance modules? This question is beyond the scope and intent of the Request for Information. 7. Are any of the legacy systems for which data migration is desired considered to be the system of official record for that business area? Banner is the official system of record for financial transactions and RAMSeS is the legacy system for sponsored programs proposal and award data. 8. Describe the governance structure by which program/implementation decisions will be made (e.g. risk identification/mitigation, issue resolution, scope management, and integration). This question is beyond the scope and intent of the Request for Information. 9. Does the institution have a preferred implementation team staffing mix (balance between vendor resources and institutional resources)? This question is beyond the scope and intent of the Request for Information. 10. Do all of the campuses use Banner’s post-award functionality? Is there a desire to replicate that functionality in the research administration software? Banner is the official system of record for financial transactions for the participating campuses and will remain so. 11. Describe the desired implementation approach for this project (e.g. phased roll-out by module and/or campus vs. a single “big bang” rollout to all campuses). No implementation schedule or approach has been identified. The list of functionalities is intended to identify software solutions that can be rolled out in phases and by modules. 12. Does the system have a standard data warehousing approach or does each campus use their own tools/strategy. Can you provide some details? There is not a system-wide standard data warehousing approach at this time. 13. In the RFI, you point out that campuses have different charts of accounts. Do campuses share other data tables now and/or would they consider sharing them in the future. The campuses currently share a common sponsor table and a common subawardee list. 14. Would campuses be willing to share system configuration decisions which would impact business processes at the campus level, or does each campus need complete flexibility to configure the system according to their campus needs? See the answer to question 4-12 and question 5. 15. Would one campus ever need to access HR information on an Investigator from another campus? If so, how frequently (i.e. frequently, once in a while, seldom, hardly ever)? No, this information would not be shared between campuses 16. Will the UNC General Admin office have the need for a system as well? If so, please provide the FY13-14 G&C Expenditures. UNC General Administration will not need the functionalities described in the RFI; however UNC General Administration will need the capability to access data from all the campuses in near-real time for reporting need. 17. Question: Will every participating campus use Banner by the time implementations begin, and if not, what other financial system integrations will be needed? Yes, Banner is the financial system of record for the participating campuses. 18. Question: “The system will include the ability to track and confirm time and effort with electronic routing and approvals (as part of workflow management).” Please clarify the tracking of “effort” in regards to routing, approval and workflow management. This could include the ability to track current and pending support for proposal review/routing and/or actual effort certification for employees paid or cost shared against sponsored projects. 19. Question: Please provide a general order in which you would like to implement each functionality. This question is beyond the scope and intent of the Request for Information. 20. Question: Will Committee functionality be desired for every compliance module? Not every compliance functionality involves committee management. Respondents should clearly identify which functionalities their solutions do and do not currently provide. 21. Question: Please provide more information on your reporting needs. Campus users need the ability to run ad-hoc reports, customize reports, sort by data fields and develop standard reports (that could be run frequently). 22. Question: What is the preferred method of Implementation/Consulting Support provided? Onsite? Remote? This question is beyond the scope and intent of the Request for Information. 23. Question: Is a cloud based solution preferred? Cloud-based would be considered as a possible option. 24. Question: Does UNC- GA desire the selected vendor to take responsibility for performing and supporting customizations? This question is beyond the scope and intent of the Request for Information. 25. Question: When does UNC-GA expect to issue an RFP after the RFI review? Recommendations based on responses to the RFI will be submitted to leadership by June 30, 2015. 26. Question: What is UNC-GA’s phase approach for implementation? This question is beyond the scope and intent of the Request for Information. 27. Question: Do you require an implementation plan as part of the RFI response? No 28. Question: Will you have any resources (in terms of FTE) that will be committed to the project? This question is beyond the scope and intent of the Request for Information. 29. Question: Will UNC-GA have a dedicated project manager assigned to the project? This question is beyond the scope and intent of the Request for Information.
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