Notice of Funds Available (RFP)

Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities

18PFS10  Advocacy Days Event Planner

Specifications

Posted Applications Due Start Date End Date Amount MatchPoverty Match Council Staff
Jul 16, 2018 Aug 20, 2018 Oct 01, 2018 Apr 30, 2019 $27,000.00 $6,750.00$0.00 Lisa Eaves

RFP DETAILS


1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 Purpose of Procurement
The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) is requesting proposals from individuals or organizations to plan and manage logistics for our advocacy events, hereafter known as Advocacy Days.

1.2 SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

This Request for Proposals will be governed by the following schedule:

July 16, 2018 RFP posted on DD Suite and GCDD Website
August 7, 2018 Applicants’ Conference @ GCDD and Zoom Meeting (10:00 am-12:00pm)
August 8, 2018 Deadline for written Questions
August 8, 2018 Deadline for written requests for Accommodation
August 13, 2018 Answers to written questions posted on GCDD website
August 20, 2018 Applications Due in DD Suite by 11:59 PM
August 21-24, 2018 Application Review by Operations and Contracts Director
August 27 - 31, 2018 Selection Committee conducts first review and Selects finalists
September 4- 13, 2018 Selection Committee interviews finalists
September 17, 2018 Notice of Intent to Award posted on Website
September 17- 21 Contract Negotiations with assigned program staff
September 24-28, 2018 Complete Contract process (Signatures)
October 1, 2018 Work Begins (or later)




1.3 RESTRISTIONS ON COMMUNICATION WITH STAFF

All questions about this NoFA must be submitted in the following format:

Organization/Individual Name
1. Question
Citation of relevant section of the NoFA
2. Question
Citation of relevant section of the NoFA


Questions must be directed in writing to the Operations & Contracts Director,(OCD) Lisa Eaves, at: lisa.eaves@gcdd.ga.gov

Questions must include the company name and the referenced NoFA section.

From the issue date of this NoFA until a contractor is selected and the selection is announced, Applicants are not allowed to communicate for any reason with any State staff except through the OCD, or during the Applicants' conference, or as provided by existing work agreement(s). The State reserves the right to reject the proposal of any Applicant violating this provision. All questions concerning this NoFA must be submitted in writing by email to lisa.eaves@gcdd.ga.gov. Only written questions will be accepted. No response other than written will be binding upon the State. Email communication is the preferred method of written communication.

2.0 Advocacy Days Event Planner RFP

The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) is the state's leader in advancing public policy on behalf of persons with developmental disabilities. Our mission is to promote public policy that creates an integrated community life for persons with developmental disabilities, their families, friends, neighbors and all who support them. We achieve this mission by sharing information, coordinating public outreach and implementing strategic legislative advocacy.
In line with this mission, the GCDD will host 5 legislative advocacy events during the 2019 legislative session. The GCDD is requesting competitive submissions to plan and manage logistics for the advocacy events, hereafter known as Advocacy Days.
Advocacy Days are an opportunity for individuals with developmental disabilities and their allies to learn about issues of importance to the disability community and participate in the legislative process by meeting with their legislators at the “ropes” of the Georgia State Capitol. Each day begins with a brief orientation and training led by GCDD Public Policy Staff at Central Presbyterian Church, followed by participants dividing into groups. The groups are led to the Capitol by experienced advocates known as Team Leads.
The Advocacy Days are tentatively scheduled for the following days: January 30, February 5, February 14, February 27, March 6. Historically registration has opened at 8:30 AM. The training occurs from 9:00 AM to 10:20 AM. At approximately 10:20 AM, the participants walk to the Georgia State Capitol to speak with their legislators about issues of importance.
Responsibilities include:
• Create and manage electronic event registration, provide technical assistance as needed, and respond to registration questions online. Registration must follow GCDD brand guidelines. GCDD will provide final approval in advance of site launch.
• Communicate with registrants via confirmation email, reminder emails, and reminder phone calls in advance of event.
• Communicate with registrants to ensure any specific accommodation request is met.
• Coordinate with event location staff to ensure proper room set up, necessary technology is present, and clean up goes smoothly.
• Arrange, pay, and troubleshoot for ASL interpreters, CART transcription services, and a light breakfast for each event (a total of $7,000 has been included in the budget for this purpose).
• Organize volunteers, self-identified through registration
• Host on-site registration for each Advocacy Day
• Based on registration for each event, ensure there are a sufficient number of trained team leads per event
• Provide small honorariums to Team Leads (a total of $3,000 has been included in the budget for this purpose)
• Facilitate each event on site including, but not limited to, A/V coordination, room set-up and breakdown, and food and beverage
Expected Outputs:
• There will be a measurable increase in the number of people with developmental disabilities who participated in Council supported activities designed to increase their knowledge of how to take part in decisions that affect their lives, the lives of others, and/or systems.
• There will be a measurable increase in the number of family members who participated in Council supported in activities designed to increase their knowledge of how to take part in decisions that affect the family, the lives of others, and/or systems.
• There will be a measurable increase in the number of other individuals who participated in Council supported activities designed to increase their knowledge.
Expected Outcomes:
• A satisfaction percentage above 80% of people with developmental disabilities satisfied with this event from participant surveys.
• A satisfaction percentage above 80% of family members satisfied with this event from participant surveys.
• A total number of no less than 150 unduplicated people trained or educated through this project.
• Weekly updates on registration for each event shared electronically with GCDD staff.
• Accurate attendance list for each event shared electronically with GCDD Staff.
Submission should include the following:
• Resume
• At least two examples of prior events planned from Portfolio
• 2 References from previous customers/associates
• Ensure budget included in application is detailed
Budget:
GCDD approved up to $27,000 for this project. Per federal law, a 25% match of $6,750 will be required of all contractors in a non-poverty region. Match may be met in a variety of ways and is not limited to currency.
Minimum Qualifications:
• Experience hosting online registration
• Experience hosting minimum of 3 events that included people with disabilities and proficiency with reasonable accommodation requests
• Preferred but not required: Bachelor’s degree in hospitality or related field
• Experience providing excellent customer service



3.1 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Activities: Specific tasks conducted to achieve an objective.

Agency: council, office, agency, department, board, bureau, commission, institution, authority, or other entity of the State of Georgia.

Applicant: Respondent to this Request for Proposals.

Best Practices: Disability services and policies which support independence, integration, productivity, and inclusion for all people with disabilities so that they may achieve Real Communities, Real Homes, Real Careers, Real Learning, Real Influence, and Real Support.

Communication and editorial standards that promote People First Language.

Communications and editorial standards that adhere to the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act).

Budget: The spending plan for a project that delineates how Council funds and matching funds will be expended to achieve project goals and objectives.

Collaboration: The combined activities of two or more entities to achieve an objective or other common purpose. Collaboration activities can include networking, coordination and cooperation.

Customer: The people or entities who directly interact with and/or receive an implementer's products and activities. The individual whose behavior, or condition, an implementer is intending to influence through their products and activities. A customer can be the individuals and families who receive the benefits of the systems outcome, the providers and professionals whose methods of practice improve, or the policy-makers whose views, votes or practices change to support inclusion.

Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD) uses the federal definition of Developmental Disabilities, as it appears in the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000, Public Law 106-402.

The term Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD), means severe, chronic disabilities that a person five years of age or older demonstrates which--

A) are attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments;
B) are manifested before the person attains the age twenty-two;
C) are likely to continue indefinitely;
D) result in substantial functional limitations in three or more of the following areas of major life activity:
* self-care,
* receptive and expressive language,
* learning,
* mobility,
* self-direction,
* capacity of independent living, and
* economic self-sufficiency; and

E) reflect the person's need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic care, treatment, or other services that are of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated. When applied to infants and young children, this term means individuals from birth to age five, inclusive, who have substantial developmental delay or specific congenital or acquired conditions with a high probability of resulting in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities if services are not provided.
Grant recipients are required to follow this definition in implementing projects. Depending on the given initiative, the Council may focus its efforts on serving specific sub-populations such as people with severe physical Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, or children with mental illness or serious, lifelong emotional and mental disabilities.

Fringe Benefit Rate: The percentage of employee compensation that is charged to the project budget for employee-related benefits.

DOAS : Department of Administrative Services

Georgia Vendor Manual: Information and instructions for conducting business with the State of Georgia Located at:

http://doas.ga.gov/StateLocal/SPD/Docs_SPD_Official_Announcements/GeorgiaProcurementManual.pdf

Goal: A statement that describes the long-term vision to be achieved. This vision reflects the best set of existing circumstances or conditions were we to choose or control how things would be. The resulting state or condition once global (in this case, state wide) systems change has occurred.

Independence: Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and their families are the primary decision-makers regarding their lives, including the services and supports they may receive. They play decision-making roles in policies and programs that affect their lives.

Indirect Costs: Expenses that are shared among an organization's programs that are not directly attributable to a single program, contract, or grant. Most organizations will reflect these costs in a rate identified as a percentage charged to each program, contract, or grant.

In-Kind Contributions/ Matching Funds: are non-federal resources which are leveraged against funding. Often referred to as "Local Match," The DD Act requires that states match the federal grant by 25%. This funding may come from private corporations, non-profits, and/or state dollars. Matching funds create a greater sense of ownership of projects and thus, influence greater chances of project success. Matches by contractors are required for most grants and typically range between 10% and 25% though GCDD can vary the match requirement above and below that range, as long as a total 25% match is obtained each year. Matches in the lower range are allowable when the target populations of particular projects reside in poverty areas, are minorities, and/or unserved or underserved disability groups.

Integration and Inclusion: Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities have access to opportunities and the necessary supports to be included in community life, have interdependent relationships, live in homes and communities, and make contributions to their families’ community, state, and nation.

Innovative: A uniquely different approach from other methods that exist or have been tried.

Non-poverty Grant: Addresses the needs of a targeted population with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities within an area that does not meet the federally established poverty standards.

Objectives: The major outcomes that must occur to achieve the project goal. They are stated in action terms, such as to increase, decrease, etc.; and are measurable, attainable, and realistic.

O.C.G.A. : Official Code of Georgia Annotated (State Statute)

Outcome Statement: A statement that describes the ideal end state or result to be achieved through the implementation of a project or of activities. The Outcome defines the desired behavior or condition of the customer or environment and defines the boundaries for the applicant.

People First Language: Communication with emphasis on the person rather than the disability.

Performance Measures: Specific changes in customer behavior, condition, or satisfaction that defines program achievement and contribute to the defined outcome defined by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Performance Measure Data: The measurable, quantifiable outcomes achieved during the project period resulting from successful completion of project activities and objectives. Grantees compile the data and report it periodically to the Council.

Policymakers: Publicly elected, appointed, or paid officials who have the authority to enact or influence changes in legislation, policy, funding, or services.

Post-Project Performance Measures: The measurable, quantifiable outcomes that are achieved after the project period has ended. These outcomes may be generated over multiple years; these measures identify the continued success of the project after the project end date.

Poverty Grant: A project that addresses the needs of a targeted population with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities within an area that meets the federal poverty standards established by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Primary Type of Project Activity: The major methodology used to achieve the goal of the grant project.

* Barrier Elimination, Systems Design and Redesign - Activities to remove obstacles to the access and use of community services by individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; designing and modifying programs and products to enhance access for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, including ADA and other Federal guidelines for accessibility across all communications platforms.

* Coalition Development, Citizen Participation and Community Building - Activities to develop and support groups and entities to work together, including training on how to educate policymakers, and to develop self-advocacy and citizen leadership skills, and activities to build alliances between organizations to educate the public about the capabilities, preferences, and needs of individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and their families.

* Coordination with Related Councils, Committees and Programs - Activities to enhance working relationships between entities that are authorized by federal or state law to address issues concerning individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

* Informing Policymakers Providing information about disability issues directly to federal, state, or local public officials to increase their knowledge of disability issues and to encourage them to support improving the quality of life for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities through legislative and budget methods.

* Interagency Collaboration and Coordination - Activities to establish and promote partnerships between agencies to better serve, support, assist, or advocate for individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and their families.

* NoFA -Notice of Funds Available

* Outreach - Activities to identify individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and their families to assist and enable them to obtain services and individualized supports and information about these services and supports.

* Supporting and Educating Communities - Providing information and education to assist neighborhoods and communities to enable people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and their families to have the access to and use of services, resources, and opportunities in the community.

* Technical Assistance - Activities to assist public and private entities to contribute to the achievement of a project goal.

* Training - Formal presentation or instruction to educate people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, family members, and others about community services, individualized supports, and other topics of importance to people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Productivity: Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities enjoy the opportunity to work, to contribute to society, and to pursue meaningful and productive lives.

Self-Advocates: Children or adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities who may speak on behalf of themselves and engage in activities of self-expression that can improve the quality of life for themselves and others. Self-advocates are people whose voices can be the most powerful, clear, and urgent in the legislative and public policy processes.

Systems Advocacy: Activity that is directed toward improving the system of services and supports for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities that may result in improving the quality of life for people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities through policy, legislative, and budget methods.

Timelines: Start and end dates for completing project activities and objectives.

Work Plan: A tool for planning, implementing, and monitoring the major objectives and activities to achieve the project's goal. The work plan includes objectives, activities, timelines, project staff, and performance measures.

3.2 Contract Terms

The contract period is 1 year with options to renew for 4 additional contract periods. The annual renewal (March 15, 2018- March 14, 2019) of the grantee's contract shall be based on the availability of funds and the grantee's successful contract performance the preceding year. Contract award from March 15, 2018, through March 14, 2018 will be by the issuance of a Notice of Award. Renewal(s) will be issued through a continuation of contract award.

3.3 Background
The Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD), authorized under Public Law 106-402, the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act Amendments of 2000 (https://www.acl.gov/about-acl/authorizing-statutes/developmental-disabilities-assistance-and-bill-rights-act-2000), is one of 55 entities of its type in the United States and territories that report to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (https://www.acl.gov/node/467). The GCDD is an independent agency, attached to the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities (http://dbhdd.georgia.gov/) for administrative purposes. Its activities are governed by a 25 member board, appointed by the governor and/or holds other positions of responsibility in state government and comprised of at least 60 percent individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and family members. Other members include policymakers that represent various agencies and organizations having a vested interest in persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

The GCDD serves as an advocate for persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. The mission of the GCDD is to advance social change, public policy, and innovative practices that increase opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities and families to thrive where they live, learn, work, play, and worship in Georgia’s communities. The Council achieves its mission through public policy research and analysis, promoting advocacy, public relations, and funding programs that support best practices and community building.

The GCDD makes funds available to fulfill its mission in accordance with the DD Act and the Council's Five Year Strategic Plan (http://www.gcdd.org) Through its funding, the GCDD works to increase the capacities and resources of public and private non-profit entities and others to develop a comprehensive community system that responds to the choices, capabilities, and needs of persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and their families. The purpose of Council grants are to expand best practices and contribute to system wide changes that support the rights of people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and their full inclusion as community members. Recipients of Council grants are expected to be ongoing partners in bringing about change.


4. REQUIREMENTS


4.1 Submission Requirements (See checklist in the attachment Section)

There are standard forms that must be signed as part of the contracting process for grants received from the Council. These forms ask for the contractor to agree to certain terms or acknowledge certain regulations regarding standard contract language, conflict of interest policies, and certifications for lobbying and debarment. In order for applicants to be aware of these documents, the text of each form is included in the NoFA. Several forms are provided to assist the applicant in submitting the proposal and are attached as Appendices to the NoFA. The Applicant must submit its most recent, completed full year, audited organizational financial statement (expenses, revenue, and balance sheet); (2) the organization's current annual operating budget; (3) A copy of their IRS 501(c)(3) letter, if applicable; (4) W-9 form, "Request for Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) and Certification" completed and signed by Applicant.), and (5) applicants must be in good standing with the Georgia Office of the Secretary of State and demonstrate that licenses to conduct business have been paid.

1. The Applicant must submit a complete application in DD Suite which includes a Project Outline, a Project Work Plan and a Project Budget. Please submit a hard copy of the Project Data Sheet (see attachments).


2. Any exceptions to the State's Sample Contract (Appendix D) must be clearly identified and submitted with the Applicant's Proposal. Applicants should mark exceptions in the text of the Sample Contract (Appendix D) and submit a list with referenced sections in their Proposals. Proposed exceptions must not conflict with or attempt to preempt mandatory requirements specified in Section 2.0.

3. The Award Recipient (Grantee) must submit the following FEDERAL FORMS with original signatures (Appendix G) * Please Review. Only Required for award recipients after Notice of Award has been issued.

Form #1: Certification Regarding Drug-Free Workplace Requirements
Form #2: Assurances - Non-construction Programs
Form #3: Habilitation Plan Assurance
Form #4: Certificate of Vote
Form #5: Certification of Legal Existence
Form #6: Financial Interest Disclosure
Form #7 Human Rights Assurances
Form #8: Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension, Ineligibility and Voluntary Exclusion - Lower Tier Transactions
Form #9: Certification Regarding Lobbying for Grants, Loans, and Cooperative Agreements
Form #10: Affirmative Action Plan For Grants exceeding $50,000.00
Form #11: Compliance with Public Law 103-227, Part C The Pro Children Act of 1994
Form #12: W-9, Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification

5.0 PROPOSAL SUBMISSION AND EVALUATION
Each proposal should be prepared simply and economically, avoiding the use of elaborate promotional materials (unless materials have been requested) beyond those sufficient to provide a complete presentation. If supplemental materials are a necessary part of the technical proposal, the Applicant should reference these materials in the technical proposal, identifying the document(s) and citing the appropriate section and page(s) to be reviewed.

Any proposal received after the due date and time will not be evaluated.

5.1 Evaluation Process

The evaluation of proposals received on or before the due date and time will be conducted in the following phases. Any proposal received after the due date and time will not be evaluated.

5.2 Administrative Review

The Operations & Contracts Director will screen each proposal. The screening will consist of: (1) determining if the Applicant is eligible to receive Council funds including determining if the Applicant meets eligibility requirements and is registered to do business in Georgia; (2) the budget is within the funding limits and includes the required match; and, (3) the required forms are attached (See Checklist).

DD Suite will issue an automatic reply acknowledging receipt of your proposal immediately after successful submission. Applicant's determined ineligible will receive notification within 7 days of due date.

5.3 Proposal Evaluation

The GCDD Chairperson will appoint a selection committee and may consider individuals other than Council member or advisory members. No one may evaluate proposals in which there is, or there is an appearance of, a conflict of interest. They will recuse themselves from all parts of the grant evaluation and award process.

The Selection Committee may meet twice within 30 days of proposal due date. Before the first meeting, staff will send proposals and the Solicitation Evaluation Form. The first meeting may be either in person or on the phone and members will review, rank, and narrow down proposals to the top 2 or 3. Staff will collect and file all completed Solicitation Evaluation Forms.

Using the Solicitation Evaluation Form, members will identify the most critical factors contributing to the value or success of the proposed solutions to the issues identified. Among the criteria used are the following:

1. Does the outline clearly state goals and major activities?
2. Is applicant qualified or experienced to complete the goals and activities?
3. Does the application satisfactorily describe the impact of activities of the project will have on people with developmental disabilities?
4. Is each required goal and outcome addressed? Are the goals and outcomes satisfactory?
5. Does the application adequately describe who will be responsible for each activity and a timeframe for completion?
6. Is the proposed budget consistent with the goals and activities identified in the project?
7. Does the budget justification for each item include how amounts were determined?



The criteria are scored by each member of the selection team and a proposal is eligible to receive a maximum of 1000 points. Each criteria is rated either Exceptional (receives full points), Acceptable (receives half points), Not Acceptable (Receives no points).For example, if the criterion Organizational Ability has a maximum points value of 75. An Exceptional Rating gets 75 points, Acceptable gets 37.5 and Not Acceptable gets 0. If there is more than one proposal, only those that have a technical review score of 750 (75% of the maximum available technical score) or higher will have their Budget Plans reviewed. Budget Plans can receive a maximum of 300 points.


5.4 Oral Presentations

The State reserves the right to conduct site visits or to invite Applicants to present their technical solution between September 4-13, 2018 at 2 Peachtree Street, 26th Floor, Suite 246, Atlanta GA 30303 or conference by phone/virtually during this time.

5.5 Financial (Cost) Proposal Evaluation
The Successful Applicant submit a proposed budget for this initiative. The Financial Proposal will provide a 25% match (in-kind or funds) to augment the federal grant. The 25% match may be in the form of matching dollars, and/or in-kind costs, on an annual basis (i.e., during the initial year and throughout any the renewals). Match funds must be documented by submitting a Report of Certified or In-Kind costs at each reporting period. The match rate for poverty areas in 10%.

Applicant should provide a detailed annual plan explaining how it will generate the required match and how much, i.e., the percentage that will be provided. The plan must show in detail what will be done, how it will be done, and what specific commitment the Applicant is willing to make as a match.

5.6 Identification of Apparent Successful Applicant

The resulting Financial Proposal scores will be combined with the Technical Proposal score. The Applicant with the highest combined technical and financial score will be identified as the apparent successful Applicant.

5.7 Rejection of Proposals/Cancellation of NoFA

The State reserves the right to reject any or all proposals, to waive any irregularity or informality in a proposal, and to accept or reject any item or combination of items; when to do so would be to the advantage of the State. It is also within the right of the State to reject proposals that do not contain all the elements and information requested in this document. The State reserves the right to cancel this NoFA at any time. The State will not be liable for any cost/losses incurred by the Applicants throughout this process.

6. NOFA AMENDMENT 6.1 NoFA Amendments

The State reserves the right to amend this NoFA prior to the proposal due date. All amendments and additional information will be posted to http://ddsuite.org Applicants are encouraged to check this website frequently.

6.2 Proposal Withdrawal

A submitted proposal may be withdrawn prior to the due date by a written request to the Operations and Contracts Director. A request to withdraw a proposal must be signed by an authorized individual.

6.3 Cost for Preparing Proposals

The cost for developing the proposal is the sole responsibility of the Applicant. The State will not provide reimbursement for such costs.

6.4 Sample Contract

The Sample Contract, which the Agency intends to use with the successful Applicant, is attached to this NoFA and identified as Appendix D. Exceptions to the Contract should be identified and submitted with the Applicant's proposal. Proposed exceptions must not conflict with or attempt to preempt mandatory requirements specified in Section 2.0.

Prior to award, the apparent winning Applicant will be required to enter into discussions with the State to resolve any contractual differences before an award is made. These discussions are to be finalized and all exceptions resolved within two (2) weeks of notification. Failure to resolve contractual differences will lead to rejection of the Applicant's proposal.

The State reserves the right to modify the Contract to be consistent with the successful offer and to negotiate with the successful Applicant other modifications, provided that no such modifications affect the evaluation criteria set forth herein, or give the successful Applicant a competitive advantage.

6.5 Conflict of Interest

If an Applicant has any existing client relationship that involves the State of Georgia, the Applicant must disclose each relationship.

6.6 Minority Business Policy

It is the policy of the State of Georgia that minority business enterprises shall have a fair and equal opportunity to participate in the State purchasing process. Therefore, the State of Georgia encourages all minority business enterprises to compete for, win, and receive contracts for goods, services, and construction. Also, the State encourages all companies to sub-contract portions of any State contract to minority business enterprises.

6.7 Reciprocal Preference Law OCGA 50-5-60(b)

For the purposes of evaluation only, Applicants resident in the State of Georgia will be granted the same preference over Applicants resident in another State in the same manner, on the same basis, and to the same extent that preference is granted in awarding bids for the same goods or services by such other State Applicants resident therein over Applicants resident in the State of Georgia. NOTE: For the purposes of this law, the definition of a resident Applicant is one who maintains a place of business with at least one employee inside the State of Georgia. A post office box address will not satisfy this requirement.

6.8 ADA Guidelines

The State of Georgia adheres to the guidelines set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act. Applicants should contact the Operations and Contracts Director at least 48 hours in advance if they require special arrangements when attending the Applicant's Conference. The Georgia Relay Center at 1-800-255-0056 (TDD Only) or 1-800-255-0135 (Voice) will relay messages, in strict confidence, for the speech and hearing impaired.

6.9 Sales and Use Tax Registration

In Compliance with section 48-8-59 of the OCGA, every company or individual doing business within the State of Georgia is required to file an application for a certificate of registration with the State Revenue Commissioner. Prior to award of this Contract, the apparent successful Applicant will be required to complete and submit to the Agency the Sales and Use Tax Registration form (Appendix C). If the completed Sales and Use Tax Registration form is not received by the Agency within one week of the issuing of the Notice of Award, the Agency may, at its sole discretion, eliminate the apparent successful Applicant from consideration and award the Contract to another Applicant.

6.10 Compliance with Laws

The Grantee will comply with all State and Federal laws, rules, and regulations.

6.11 Appeals

Applicants who are not in agreement with the recommendations of the Council may appeal.
a. If an applicant wishes to appeal, the applicant must notify the Chairperson in writing within 15 working days of the date of the letter indicating the decision of the Council. The letter of appeal should include the basis for the appeal. All appeals must be based on the criteria used by the Selection Committee to evaluate applicants.
b. Upon receipt of a letter of appeal, the Council Chairperson will appoint an ad hoc appeals committee consisting of the Council Chairperson, the Chair of the Selection Committee, and at least one Council member who was not a member of the Selection Committee.
c. The Executive Director and Council staff will investigate, compile, and study all relevant information about the appeal, and within 30 days of the receipt of the appellant's letter, submit a written report to the Executive Committee. The report will contain recommended action and the evidence supporting the pending action. The appeals committee will meet as soon as possible (in no case later than the next scheduled Council meeting) to consider the appeal.
d. The appeals committee will review the deliberations of the Selection Team and may hear from the applicant. The review will determine if the recommendation of the Selection Team was consistent with the criteria presented on the evaluation form, and in doing so will consider the information presented by the applicant in the letter of appeal.
e. The appeals committee will present its findings in writing to the applicant and to the full Council at its next regular meeting.