Request for Proposals


Scope of Work – vendor is to supply TSU a proposal for E-card Services to include payments due to students .... Format of Proposals - Firms will be ...

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Request for Proposals for

Re-Bid for E-card Services RFP # 717-15-703

Proposal response must be in the Purchasing Office no later than 3:00 p.m. Central time, on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 (Proposals received after the date and time specified will not be accepted)

Proposals must be received prior to the deadline at this address, and clearly marked: TSU Purchasing Department 3100 Cleburne Street Hannah Hall, suite 333 Houston, TX 77004 RFP # 717-15-703 Attn: Thomas Britt

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I.

General Information & Requirements

A.

Declaration – Texas Southern University (hereinafter, referred to as “TSU”) is soliciting sealed proposals from qualified, experienced and professional companies to provide E-card Services. This RFP contains submission requirements, scope of work, Addenda, Execution of Offer, Terms and Conditions, HUB Plan, TSU Standard Vendor Agreement, and other pertinent information for submitting a proper and responsive proposal. Proposals will be evaluated on the criteria stated in the RFP. Negotiations may be conducted with vendors who have a reasonable chance of being selected for the award. After evaluation of the proposal and subsequent revisions, if any, the contract will be awarded to the responsible vendor(s) whose proposal is considered most advantageous to TSU.

B.

Scope of Work – vendor is to supply TSU a proposal for E-card Services to include payments due to students (refunds and payroll) and/or faculty and staff (payroll only). Initial term is from date of contract execution through August 31, 2019.

C.

Anticipated Event Calendar Event Issue RFP Last date and time to submit questions RFP response deadline date and time Approval by our Board of Regents Effective date to begin service

Date Thursday, April 9, 2015 Thursday, April 16, 2015, at 12:00 noon Central time Tuesday, April 28, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. Central time June, 2015 June / July, 2015

D.

Eligibility - Any vendor, preferably with demonstrated recent and relevant experience, is invited to submit a proposal for consideration. Each firm must present a proposal in order to be considered as a candidate. All original proposals shall be signed by an authorized representative of the firm.

E.

Questions, Inquiries, Clarifications & Addenda – TSU will try to answer all questions concerning this RFP but shall not be obligated to do so. All questions/inquiries must be in Word format (for ease of cutting and pasting) and emailed to Mr. Britt at [email protected] no later than the deadline of 12:00 noon Central time on Thursday, April 16, 2015. The foregoing shall not limit TSU's right to issue addenda to the scope of work prior to the date and time for submission of proposals or to delay the date and time for submission of proposals in order to ensure that all firms are aware of and have had sufficient time to consider the addenda. Failure of the Proposer or to verify the requirements of this RFP shall not relieve the Prime of responsibility for fulfilling the contract in accordance with the terms of this RFP. In the event that it becomes necessary to revise any part of this RFP, the University will post all addenda on the State of Texas website at: http://esbd.cpa.state.tx.us/.

F.

Completeness of Submission – Respondents shall carefully read the information contained in this RFP and submit a complete response to all requirements and questions as directed. Incomplete proposals will be considered non-responsive and are subject to rejection.

G.

Public Information – TSU is a public institution and subject to the Texas Public Information Act (Texas Government Code Chapter 552). Any information submitted to TSU is presumed to be public information and available to the public. Any information or materials submitted to TSU that is considered by the Proposer to be confidential must be clearly marked "CONFIDENTIAL," "TRADE SECRET," or "PROPRIETARY." If an outside individual or entity requests review or copies of the information so marked, TSU will advise the Proposer of the request. If requested by the Proposer, TSU will request an Open Records Decision from the Attorney General's Office of the State of Texas. The Page 2 of 18

Proposer shall be responsible for substantiating the confidentiality of the information or materials requested.

II.

H.

Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) / Minority Program – TSU is committed to the use of HUB / Minority vendors when possible. Proposers are encouraged to provide a plan describing their actions to encourage and utilize HUBs and Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs). The TSU HUB Plan is part of this solicitation and is attached to this posting.

I.

Acceptance of Proposals – TSU reserves the right in awarding the contract to consider the competency, responsibility, and suitability of the Proposer, as well as the services provided. Your response shall be valid for a period of 120 days after the deadline to allow for time for thorough evaluations.

J.

Acceptance of Evaluation Methodology – By submitting its proposal in response to the RFP, Proposer accepts the evaluation process and acknowledges and accepts that determination of the “most qualified” firm(s) will require subjective judgments by the University.

K.

Waiver of Formalities - TSU reserves the right to reject any or all submittals, to negotiate changes in the scope of the work or services to be provided, to withhold a selection for any reason it may determine, and to waive or decline to waive any technicalities or irregularities in the proposal.

L.

Exceptions – Firms must read and understand all terms and conditions contained herein. Exceptions MUST be taken at the time that the proposals are submitted, NOT during the negotiation or contract award process. By submitting a response to this RFP, Proposer represents that it has read and understands the contract specifications and conditions.

M.

No Reimbursement for Costs – Respondent acknowledges and accepts that any costs incurred from the respondent’s participation in this RFP shall be at the sole risk and responsibility of the respondent.

N.

Submission of Proposals – The University will receive Proposals at the time and location described on the first page of this RFP. Proposals shall be submitted in a sealed container clearly marked with the Respondent name and labeled “Re-Bid of RFP # 717-15-703 for E-card Services”.

O.

Equal Opportunity – Proposer represents and warrants that it shall not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, age, and disability in the performance of this Contract.

General Description of Texas Southern University

Texas Southern University was established in 1927 for the purpose of serving the Black Population of Texas. This mission quickly broadened to encompass all citizens of Texas. The Mission of Texas Southern University as a special purpose institution for urban programming is to academically prepare and develop diverse predominately African American students to enter a dynamic and changing world as upwardly mobile, productive citizens and to contribute to academic with scholarships, research, and outreach programs to the community. Texas Southern University is a public state supported institution and the largest single campus Historically Black College University in the world. Current enrollment is almost 10,000 students; with a campus of approximately 50 buildings on 130 acres. Page 3 of 18

Texas Southern University recruits nationally for talented and dedicated faculty members committed to teaching professional services. Emphases on scholarly activities reflect a commitment to research and public services intended to expand human knowledge and to enhance the quality of life. Texas Southern University offers the highest quality programs and instruction leading to baccalaureate, masters, professional, and doctoral degrees. Texas Southern University provides services in academic and non-academic areas designed to facilitate the total development and potential of individual students. Texas Southern University fosters quality research and the attendant building of a strong facility, state of the art facilities, and learning opportunities for students as well as the provision or relevant services to the community beyond the campus. Texas Southern University provides an environment conducive to learning for a substantial number of minorities to develop a full awareness and appreciation of their ethnic and cultural heritage while fostering a sense of self worth and pride that will help to mold quality citizens of Texas and the world.

III.

Submittal Requirements

A.

Economy of Preparation – Proposals should be prepared simply and economically, providing a straightforward, concise description of the Respondent's capabilities to satisfy the requirements of the RFP. Emphasis should be on completeness and clarity of content.

B.

Format of Proposals - Firms will be expected to provide the following information in the order and detail prescribed below. Each section should be tabbed accordingly: Introduction Letter (2 page maximum) Tab 1: Criteria 1 - Operations Tab 2: Criteria 2 - Implementation Tab 3: Criteria 3 - Support Tab 4: Criteria 4 – Security & Technology Tab 5: Criteria 5 - Pricing Tab 6: Criteria 6 - Additional Features Execution of Offer Addenda TSU Terms and Conditions TSU HUB Plan TSU Vendor Agreement

C.

IV.

Submission of Proposal Response – vendor shall submit six (6) paper copies of their RFP response. One shall be marked “Original” and should contain original signatures. The remaining five (5) paper copies shall be marked “Copy” and shall be copies of the original. A thumb drive version shall be submitted also.

Evaluation of Submittals

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A.

Evaluation Committee – Proposals will be reviewed by an evaluation committee comprised in accordance with the policies of the University.

B.

Selection Criteria – the following factors will be used to evaluate your proposal. Criteria 1: Criteria 2: Criteria 3: Criteria 4: Criteria 5: Criteria 6:

Operations (30%) Implementation (30%) Support (20%) Security & Technology (5%) Pricing (10%) Additional Features (5%)

C.

Process - Rankings of the firms will be based on the selection criteria above. Proposals will be reviewed by the evaluation committee and scored accordingly.

D.

Interviews / Oral Presentations – may or may not occur, but are optional parts of the negotiation process that TSU reserves the right to use as it sees fit; and they may be used to obtain clarifications, answer questions, and negotiate pricing. TSU reserves the right to negotiate with vendors in an attempt to obtain the best value for the university.

E.

Award – the University reserves the right to award to one or more primary vendors, as well as one or more secondary vendors. It is the intention of TSU to select as many vendors as it deems necessary to maintain flexibility to meet the needs of the University.

F.

Term – at the time of this posting, it is the intention of the university to have a five (5) year contract established. TSU reserves the right to adjust the term. TSU reserves the right of early termination for convenience with thirty (30) days written notification.

G.

Whenever required by the university, vendor must be able to provide evidence of liability, proof of injury bonding, proof of workman’s compensation insurance, proof of fidelity bonding, and any and all criminal background, interviews, orientation and/or screening information the university requests.

H.

Texas Southern University reserves the right to reject any or all submittals, to negotiate changes in the scope of the work or services to be provided, to withhold a selection for any reason it may determine, and to waive or decline to waive any technicalities or irregularities in any proposal.

V. Criteria for Evaluation Below are the six (6) criteria that will be used to evaluate your response. Please address each thoroughly and completely in your response.

Criteria 1: Operations 1.1 Indicate how long the Vendor has been performing the services required by this RFP and include the number of years in business. How many campuses do you currently support for the proposed services? 1.2 Provide a narrative description of the company leadership. List members, and include brief bios for each.

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1.3 Include a minimum of five (5) clients that the Institution may contact for reference purposes. Provide the client entity name, years serviced, primary contact name and title, phone number, e-mail and mailing address. Include references from any higher education institutions where your company provides similar service. 1.4 Provide details of any past or pending litigation or claims filed against your firm for the past ten years. 1.5 Describe how your service maintains compliance with the Department of Education Title IV Cash Management guidelines. 1.6 The Vendor must notify students of the distribution of financial aid refunds in a manner that meets all Title IV regulations. 1.7 The Vendor must maintain all pertinent information in compliance with all banking regulations, as well as FERPA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act and any other applicable Federal regulations. Confirm that your firm can and will meet this requirement. 1.8 Vendor is required to submit a copy of its annual Department of Education compliance attestation examination of the Title IV Student Financial Assistance Program. 1.9 The Institution requires a convenient online process for all students to choose and open an optional checking account without pre-qualification or paper signature required. Explain in detail the checking account services that your institution will offer students and others in conjunction with the program. 1.10 The Vendor must offer and service debit cards for Institution students that are linked with an FDIC insured checking account. The institution prefers Visa as the payment network. 1.11 The Institution requires that third parties have the option to easily and securely transfer student’s checking account at no charge. Please describe the process and include a screen shot. 1.12

money to a

Can students continue to use the account after graduation?

1.13 For checking account users, the Institution desires a rewards program that the Vendor will maintain and provide on the program website. Please describe. The Institution requires that the Vendor handle issuance of all refund disbursement cards to students via U.S. Mail. Describe in detail. Provide a sample card design. 1.14 Describe the process and timeline for issuing a replacement card. Cardholders must be able to report a card lost or stolen card 24/7/365 via a toll-free number and website.

Criteria 2: Implementation 2.1 Describe the proposed solution to completely outsource the delivery of all student funds disbursements. Include the following information at a minimum:     

How refund data is provided to the vendor How students are informed of the refund process Refund options available to students What happens when a refund file is sent to the vendor How students are notified of the refund

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2.2 The Institution requires that the Vendor handle all funds disbursement exceptions, including returned checks and ACH, returned mail, etc. Please describe in detail. 2.3 Please explain your process for disbursing parent PLUS loans. 2.4 Describe in detail the direct deposit solution available for payroll processing. 2.5 The Institution requires that the Vendor promote and educate the campus community about the program. Please describe the proposed plan. 2.6 The Institution requires that the Vendor handle issuance of all refund disbursement cards to students via US Mail. Describe in detail. Provide a sample card design. 2.7 Describe the process and timeline for issuing a replacement card. Cardholders must be able to report a card lost or stolen at any time via a toll-free number and website. 2.8 What additional channels do you offer to the student community to foster open communication and user feedback? 2.9 Describe the mobile communications and capabilities available to students. 2.10 Please submit a detailed timeline for implementation of your services. Vendor must provide a project plan illustrating major milestones and deliverables. The Institution desires for an implementation of ninety days or less. 2.11

Describe the nature of the support team that will assist the Institution in implementing the program.

2.12

What role(s) would you expect the Institution to play regarding your solution?

Criteria 3: Support 3.1 What support do you offer students during the enrollment process? Please describe your mobile, web, phone and banking support offered as part of your service. 3.2 Are the support services described above available to all students regardless of refund preference? 3.3 What notifications are provided to students to alert them of refund delivery? 3.4 Can students change their refund preference at any time? If so, how? 3.5 How do students access their funds if they elect to use your banking product? 3.6 What financial literacy programs or services would you offer to students as part of your refund disbursement program to assist students with managing their money? Is there a charge for these services? Are the services available to all students? 3.7 Do you offer any financial specific tools, resources or other information to schools/students? 3.8 Does your institution offer any grant assistance to help colleges and universities start or expand financial literacy on their respective campuses?

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3.9 What is your institution’s vision with regard to increase financial capability of students, and what partnerships, if any, does the company support to achieve that vision? 3.10 Do you offer a dedicated relationship manager that acts as a single point of contact for Institution administrators? 3.11 Describe in detail all customer service functions that will be available to the Institution to support the program. The Institution requires toll-free help desk support specifically for administrators. 3.12 Describe the administrative support website associated with the program. What features and functionality are available to the Institution? 3.13 The Vendor must provide on-line training to the administration, which includes fundamentals of the program and online reporting.

Criteria 4: Security & Technology 4.1 The Institution requires that all sensitive data be transmitted securely and encrypted using Secure Shell Technology (SSH/SFTP). Please describe how this requirement will be met. 4.2 Vendors are required to submit a business continuity plan that addresses contingencies for providing services in the event of a natural disaster or other occurrence. 4.3 What measures does the Vendor have in place to protect program data? Please describe your information security policies and infrastructure.

Criteria 5: Pricing Please thoroughly list all costs to the University and/or to students for the products and services requested in the RFP.

Criteria 6: Additional Services Please describe any additional programs, value or services available to the Institution.

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EXECUTION OF OFFER

THIS EXECUTION OF OFFER MUST BE COMPLETED, SIGNED, AND RETURNED WITH RESPONDENT'S PROPOSAL. FAILURE TO SIGN AND RETURN THIS SHEET WILL RESULT IN THE REJECTION OF YOUR PROPOSAL. 1. By signature hereon, Respondent offers and agrees to furnish the products and/or services at the prices quoted and comply with all terms, conditions, requirements set forth in the RFP and documents incorporated therein including, but not limited to, the Contract Form. 2. By signature hereon, Respondent affirms that Respondent has neither given nor intends to give at any time hereafter any economic opportunity, future employment, gift, loan, gratuity, special discount, trip, favor or service to a public servant in connection with the Proposal. Failure to sign hereon, or signing with a false statement, shall void the Proposal and any resulting contracts, and the Respondent shall be removed from all proposal lists at this Agency. 3. By signature hereon, Respondent certifies that (a) Respondent is not currently delinquent in the payment of any franchise taxes due under Chapter 171 of the Texas Tax Code, or (b) that Respondent is exempt from the payment of such taxes, or (c) that Respondent is an out-of-state entity that is not subject to the Texas franchise tax, whichever is applicable. A false certification shall be deemed a material breach of contract and, at the University's option, may result in cancellation of any resulting contract or purchase order. 4. By signature hereon, the individual signing on behalf of Respondent hereby certifies that neither such individual nor Respondent (including anyone acting for Respondent) has violated the antitrust laws of this state, codified in Section 15.01, et. seq., Texas Business and Commerce Code, or the Federal antitrust laws, nor communicated directly or indirectly the Proposal any competitor or any other person engaged in such line of business. 5. By signature hereon, Respondent certifies that all statements and information prepared and submitted in response to the RFP are current, complete and accurate. 6. By signature hereon, Respondent certifies that if a Texas address is shown as Respondent’s address at/on ____________________________________, Respondent qualifies as a Texas Bidder as defined in Chapter 2155.444, Texas Government Code and that the preference indicated below is claimed under Chapter 2155.444, Texas Government Code: () Agricultural product produced or grown in Texas () Texas Bidder is a service-disabled veteran () Produced in Texas and/or offered by Texas Bidder () Produced in USA () No Preference claimed 7. By signature hereon, Respondent certifies it is legally authorized to claim the following status pursuant to Texas law: () Small Business (Chapter 2006.001, Texas Government Code) () Historically Underutilized Business (Chapter 2161, Texas Government Code) () Certified by Texas Department of Commerce () Status not claimed 8. By signature hereon, Respondent certifies as follows:

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“Under Section 231.006, Texas Family Code, the consultant or applicant certifies that the individual or business entity named in this contract, proposal, or application is not ineligible to receive the specified grant, loan, or payment and acknowledges that this contract may be terminated and payment may be withheld if this certification is inaccurate.” 9. By signature hereon, Respondent certifies that (a) no relationship, whether by relative, business associate, capital funding agreement or by any other such kinship exists between Respondent and an employee of any component university of the University of Houston System, and/or (b) Respondent has not been an employee of any component university of the University of Houston System within the twelve (12) months immediately precedi9ng the submission of the Proposal. These certifications are subject to administrative review and approval prior to the University entering into any contract with Respondent. 10. By signature hereon, Respondent affirms that no compensation has been received for participation in the preparation of the specifications for the RFP. (Ref. Chapter 2155.004, Texas Government Code) 11. By signature hereon Respondent represents, warrants and covenants that all articles and services quoted in its Proposal meet or exceed the safety standards established and promulgated under the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Law (29 U.S.C. Chapter 15) and its regulations in effect or proposed as of the date of the RFP. 12. By signature hereon, Respondent warrants and covenants its compliance with all federal laws and regulations pertaining to Equal Employment Opportunities and Affirmative Action.

Complete the following

VIN No: FEI No: If Sole Owner, SSN: If a Corporation: State of Incorporation: Charter No: 13. Addenda Checklist Receipt is hereby acknowledged of the following addenda to this RFP. Initial if applicable.

No.1

No. 2

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No. 3

14. Certificate of Incumbency By signature hereon, Respondent certifies that the individual signing this document and the documents made part of the Proposal is authorized (a) to sign such documents on behalf of Respondent, (b) to bind Respondent under any contract that may result from the submission of the Proposal, and (c) to make the following certification of incumbency. The following individuals and/or positions are authorized to sign for Respondent in order to bind Respondent in any contract or purchase order that results from the Proposal: Name of Individual

Position in Company

Instructions for Certificate of Incumbency: 1. Names of individuals authorized to sign for the company, and positions, are required. 2. If a limited partnership, individuals/positions listed must have authority to bind the general partner on behalf of the limited partnership. 3. Insert more rows for additional individuals/positions authorized to sign, if needed. Submitted by:

(Respondent’s Complete Legal Name)

(Authorized Signature)

(Printed Name/Title) – Must be VP or higher position

(Street Address)

(City, State, Zip Code)

(Telephone Number)

(Email Address) Page 11 of 18

TERMS AND CONDITIONS

Texas Southern University standard Terms and Conditions are part of this solicitation. Any exceptions thereto must be in writing. 1.

BIDDING REQUIREMENTS:

1.01. Bidders must comply with all rules, regulations and statutes relating to purchasing in the State of Texas in addition to the requirements of this form. 1.02. Bids should be submitted on this form. Bidders must price per unit shown. Unit prices shall govern in the event of extension errors. If a price quotation is submitted as part of the bid, the quotation must be referenced on the bid document and signed by the bidder to establish formal linkage to the bid. 1.03. Bids must be received at the Texas Southern University (TSU) Purchasing Office on or before the hour and date specified for the bid opening. 1.04. Late and/or unsigned bids will not be considered under any circumstances. Person signing bid must have the authority to bind the firm in a contract. 1.05. Quote FOB destination, freight prepaid and allowed unless otherwise stated within the specifications. 1.06. Bid prices are requested to be firm for TSU acceptance for 90days from bid opening date. "Discount from list" bids are not acceptable unless requested. Cash discounts are not considered in determining an award. Cash discounts offered will be taken if earned. 1.07. Bidder should enter Texas Identification Number System (TINS) number, full firm name and address of bidder on the face of this form. Enter in the space provided, if not shown. Additionally, firm name should appear on each continuation page of a bid, in the block provided in the upper right hand corner. 1.08. Bid cannot be altered or amended after opening time. Alterations made before opening time should be initialed by bidder or his authorized agent. No bid can be withdrawn after opening time without approval by TSU based on an acceptable written reason. 1.09. Purchases made for TSU use are exempt from the State Sales tax and Federal Excise tax. Do not include tax in bid. Excise Tax Exemption Certificates are available upon request. 1.10. TSU reserves the right to make an award on the basis of low line item bid, low total of line items, or in any other combination that will serve the best interest of TSU and to reject any and all bid items at the sole discretion of TSU. TSU also reserves the right to accept or reject all or any part of any bid, waive minor technicalities and award the bid to best serve the interests of TSU. Any contract may also be extended up to three months at the sole discretion of TSU. 1.11. Consistent and continued tie bidding could cause rejection of bids by TSU and/or investigation for antitrust violations. 1.12. Inquiries pertaining to this SOLICITATION must include the requisition number, class/item codes, and opening date. 2.

SPECIFICATION:

2.01. Catalogs, brand names or manufacturer's references are descriptive only, and indicate type and quality desired. Bids on brands of like nature and quality will be considered unless advertised under §2155.067, Texas Government Code (Gov't Code). If bidding on other than references, bid should show manufacturer, brand or trade name, and other description of product offered. If other than brand(s) specified is offered, illustrations and complete description of product offered are requested to be made part of the bid. Failure to take exception to specifications or reference data will require bidder to furnish specified brand names, numbers, etc. 2.02. Unless otherwise specified, items shall be new and unused and of current production. 2.03. All electrical items must meet all applicable OSHA standards and regulations, and bear the appropriate listing from UL, FMRC or NEMA. 2.04. Samples, when requested, must be furnished free of expense to TSU. If not destroyed in examination, they will be returned to the bidder, on request, at bidder's expense. Each sample should be marked with bidder's name and address, and bid number. Do not enclose in or attach bid to sample. 2.05. TSU will not be bound by any oral statement or representation contrary to the written specifications of this Invitation for Bids (SOLICITATION). 2.06. Manufacturer's standard warranty shall apply unless otherwise stated in the SOLICITATION. 3.

TIE BIDS: Awards will be made in accordance with 34 TAC Rules 20.36(b)(3) and 20.38 (Preferences).

4.

DELIVERY:

4.01. Show number of days required to place material in receiving agency's designated location under normal conditions. Delivery days mean calendar days, unless otherwise specified. Failure to state delivery time obligates bidder to deliver in 14 calendar days. Unrealistic delivery promises may cause bid to be disregarded.

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4.02. If delay is foreseen, bidder shall give written notice to TSU. Bidder must keep TSU advised at all times of status of order. 4.03. Default in promised delivery (without accepted reasons) or failure to meet specifications authorizes TSU to purchase the goods or services of this SOLICITATION elsewhere and charge any increased costs for the goods or services, including the cost of rebidding, to the bidder. 4.04. No substitutions permitted without written approval of TSU. 4.05. Delivery shall be made during normal working hours only, unless prior approval has been obtained from ordering agency. 5.

INSPECTION AND TESTS: All goods will be subject to inspection and test by TSU. Authorized TSU personnel shall have access to supplier's place of business for the purpose of inspecting merchandise. Tests shall be performed on samples submitted with the bid or on samples taken from regular shipment. All costs shall be borne by the bidder in the event products tested fail to meet or exceed all conditions and requirements of the specification. Goods delivered and rejected in whole or in part may, at the TSU’s option, be returned to the bidder or held for disposition at bidder's expense. Latent defects may result in revocation of acceptance.

6.

AWARD OF CONTRACT: A response to this solicitation is an offer to contract based upon the terms, conditions, and specifications contained herein. Bids do not become contracts until they are accepted through a purchase order. The contract shall be governed, construed, and interpreted under the laws of the State of Texas. The factors listed in §§2155.074, 2155.144, 2156.007, and 2157.003, Gov't Code, shall also be considered in making an award when specified. Any legal actions must be filed in Harris County, Texas.

7.

PAYMENT: Bidder shall submit 2 copies of an itemized invoice showing TSU purchase order number on all copies. TSU will incur no penalty for late payment if payment is made in 30 or fewer days from receipt of goods or services and an uncontested invoice. Payment shall be made in accordance with Chapter 2251, Gov't Code.

8.

PATENTS, TRADEMARKS, OR COPYRIGHTS: Bidder agrees to defend and indemnify TSU and the State from claims involving infringement or violation of patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, or other proprietary rights, arising out of the TSU’s or the State's use of any good or service provided by the bidder as a result of this SOLICITATION.

9.

BIDDER ASSIGNMENTS: Bidder hereby assigns to the TSU any and all claims for overcharges associated with this contract arising under the antitrust laws of the United States 15 U.S.C.A. §1, et seq., and the antitrust laws of the State of Texas, Tex. Bus. & Comm. Code §15.01, et seq.

10.

BIDDER AFFIRMATIONS: Signing this bid with a false statement is a material breach of contract and shall void the submitted bid and any resulting contracts, and the bidder shall be removed from all bid lists. By signature hereon affixed, the bidder hereby certifies that:

10.01. The bidder has not given, offered to give, nor intends to give at any time hereafter any economic opportunity, future employment, gift, loan, gratuity, special discount, trip, favor, or service to a public servant in connection with the submitted bid. 10.02. Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. §1, et seq. and Tex. Bus. & Comm. Code §15.01, et seq. neither the bidder nor the firm, corporation, partnership, or institution represented by the bidder, or anyone acting for such a firm, corporation or institution has violated the antitrust laws of this state, federal antitrust laws, nor communicated directly or indirectly the bid made to any competitor or any other person engaged in such line of business. 10.03. Pursuant to §2155.004, Gov't Code, neither the bidder nor any person or entity which will participate financially in any contract resulting from this SOLICITATION has received compensation for participation in the preparation of the specifications for this SOLICITATION. 10.04. Pursuant to §231.006(d), Texas Family Code, regarding child support, the bidder certifies that the individual or business entity named in this bid is not ineligible to receive the specified payment and acknowledges that the contract may be terminated and payment may be withheld if this certification is inaccurate. 10.05. Under §2155.004, Gov't Code, the bidder certifies that the individual or business entity named in this bid or any contract resulting from this SOLICITATION is not ineligible to receive the specified contract and acknowledges that the contract may be terminated and payment withheld if this certification is inaccurate. §2155.004 prohibits a person or entity from receiving a state contract if they received compensation for participating in preparing the solicitation or specifications for the contract. 10.06. As required by §2252.903, Gov't Code, bidder agrees that any payments due under a contract resulting from this SOLICITATION shall be directly applied towards eliminating any debt or delinquency including, but not limited to, delinquent taxes, delinquent student loan payments, and delinquent child support, until the debt is paid in full. Bidder shall comply with rules adopted by TSU under §§403.055, 403.0551, 2252.903, Gov't Code and other applicable laws and regulations regarding satisfaction of debts or delinquencies to the State of Texas. 10.07. Pursuant to §669.003, Gov't Code, TSU may not enter into a contract with a person who employs a current or former executive

head of the TSU until four years has passed since that person was the executive head of TSU. By submitting a bid, the bidder Page 13 of 18

certifies that it does not employ any person who was the executive head of TSU in the past four years. If bidder does employ a person who was the executive head of TSU, provide the following information: Name of Former Executive: _________________________________________________________________________ Name of State Agency: _____________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Date of Separation from State Agency: ________________________________________________________________ Position with Bidder: ______________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________________ Date of Employment with Bidder: ____________________________________________________________________

10.08. In accordance with §2155.4441, Gov't Code, bidder agrees that during the performance of a contract for services it shall purchase products and materials produced in Texas when they are available at a price and time comparable to products and materials produced outside this state. 10.09. Bidder certifies that the bidding entity and its principals are eligible to participate in this transaction and have not been subjected to suspension, debarment, or similar ineligibility determined by any federal, state or local governmental entity and that bidder is in compliance with the State of Texas statutes and rules relating to procurement and that bidder is not listed on the federal government's terrorism watch list as described in Executive Order 13224. Entities ineligible for federal procurement are listed at http://www.epls.gov 10.10. Sections 2155.006 and 2261.053, Gov't Code, prohibit state agencies from awarding contracts to any person who, in the past five years, has been convicted of violating a federal law or assessed a penalty in connection with a contract involving relief for Hurricane Rita, Hurricane Katrina, or any other disaster, as defined by §418.004, Gov't Code, occurring after September 24, 2005. Under §2155.006, Gov't Code, bidder certifies that the individual or business entity named in its bid is not ineligible to receive a contract and acknowledges that any contract resulting from this SOLICITATION may be terminated and payment withheld if this certification is inaccurate. 10.11. Bidder represents and warrants that payment to the bidder and the bidder’s receipt of appropriated or other funds under any contract resulting from this SOLICITATION are not prohibited by §556.005 or §556.008, Gov't Code, relating to the prohibition of using state funds for lobbying activities. 10.12. Bidder represents and warrants that it has no actual or potential conflicts of interest in providing the requested items to TSU under the SOLICITATION and any resulting contract, if any, and that bidder’s provision of the requested items under the SOLICITATION and any resulting contract, if any, would not reasonably create an appearance of impropriety. 11.

NOTE TO BIDDER: If bidder takes any exceptions to any provisions of the SOLICITATION, these exceptions must be specifically and clearly identified by section in bidder’s bid in response to the SOLICITATION and bidder’s proposed alternative must also be provided in the bid. Bidders cannot take a ‘blanket exception’ to the entire SOLICITATION. If any bidder takes a ‘blanket exception’ to the entire SOLICITATION or does not provide proposed alternative language, the bidder’s bid may be disqualified from further consideration.

12.

PROTEST PROCEDURES: Any actual or prospective bidder who is aggrieved in connection with this SOLICITATION, evaluation, or award of any contract resulting from this SOLICITATION may formally protest as provided in the TAC rules at 34 TAC Rule 20.384.

13.

DISPUTE RESOLUTION: The dispute resolution process provided for in Chapter 2260, Gov't Code must be used by TSU and the bidder to attempt to resolve any dispute arising under any contract resulting from this SOLICITATION.

14.

NON-APPROPRIATION OF FUNDS: Any contract resulting from this SOLICITATION is subject to termination or cancellation, without penalty to TSU, either in whole or in part, subject to the availability of state funds. TSU is a state agency whose authority and appropriations are subject to actions of the Texas Legislature. If TSU becomes subject to a legislative change, revocation of statutory authority, or lack of appropriated funds which would render TSU’s or bidder’s delivery or performance under the contract impossible or unnecessary, the contract will be terminated or cancelled and be deemed null and void. In the event of a termination or cancellation under this Section, TSU will not be liable to bidder for any damages, which are caused or associated with such termination, or cancellation and TSU will not be required to give prior notice.

15.

TEXAS PUBLIC INFORMATION ACT: Notwithstanding any provisions of this SOLICITATION to the contrary, bidder understands that TSU will comply with the Texas Public Information Act (Chapter 552, Gov't Code) as interpreted by judicial opinions and opinions of

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the Attorney General of the State of Texas. Information, documentation, and other material in connection with this solicitation or any resulting contract may be subject to public disclosure pursuant to the Texas Public Information Act. Within three (3) days of receipt, bidder will refer to TSU any third party requests, received directly by bidder, for information to which bidder has access as a result of or in the course of performance under any contract resulting from this SOLICITATION. Any part of the solicitation response that is of a confidential or proprietary nature must be clearly and prominently marked as such by the bidder. 16.

CONFLICT OF INTEREST: Under §2155.003, Gov't Code, a TSU employee may not have an interest in, or in any manner be connected with a contract or bid for a purchase of goods or services by an agency of the state; or in any manner, including by rebate or gift, accept or receive from a person to whom a contract may be awarded, directly or indirectly, anything of value or a promise, obligation, or contract for future reward or compensation. Any individual who interacts with public purchasers in any capacity is required to adhere to the guidelines established in Section 1.2 of the State of Texas Procurement Manual, which outlines the ethical standards required of public purchasers, employees, and bidders who interact with public purchasers in the conduct of state business, and with any opinions of or rules adopted by the Texas Ethics Commission. Entities who are interested in seeking business opportunities with the State must be mindful of these restrictions when interacting with public purchasers of TSU or purchasers of other state agencies.

17.

FORCE MAJEURE: Neither bidder nor TSU shall be liable to the other for any delay in, or failure of performance, of any requirement included in any contract resulting from this SOLICITATION caused by force majeure. The existence of such causes of delay or failure shall extend the period of performance until after the causes of delay or failure have been removed provided the non-performing party exercises all reasonable due diligence to perform. Force majeure is defined as acts of God, war, fires, explosions, hurricanes, floods, failure of transportation, or other causes that are beyond the reasonable control of either party and that by exercise of due foresight such party could not reasonably have been expected to avoid, and which, by the exercise of all reasonable due diligence, such party is unable to overcome. Each party must inform the other in writing, with proof of receipt, within three (3) business days of the existence of such force majeure, or otherwise waive this right as a defense.

18.

INDEPENDENT CONTRACTOR: Bidder is and shall remain an independent contractor in relationship to TSU. TSU shall not be responsible for withholding taxes from payments made under any contract resulting from this SOLICITATION. Bidder shall have no claim against TSU for vacation pay, sick leave, retirement benefits, social security, worker's compensation, health or disability benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, or employee benefits of any kind.

19.

INDEMNIFICATION: BIDDER SHALL DEFEND, INDEMNIFY, AND HOLD HARMLESS THE STATE OF TEXAS, ITS OFFICERS, AND EMPLOYEES, AND TSU, ITS OFFICERS, AND EMPLOYEES AND CONTRACTORS, FROM AND AGAINST ALL CLAIMS, ACTIONS, SUITS, DEMANDS, PROCEEDINGS, COSTS, DAMAGES, AND LIABILITIES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ATTORNEYS’ FEES AND COURT COSTS, ARISING OUT OF, CONNECTED WITH, OR RESULTING FROM ANY ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF BIDDER OR ANY AGENT, EMPLOYEE, SUBCONTRACTOR, OR SUPPLIER OF BIDDER IN THE EXECUTION OR PERFORMANCE OF ANY CONTRACT WITH BIDDER RESULTING FROM THIS SOLICITATION. BIDDER SHALL COORDINATE ITS DEFENSE WITH THE TEXAS ATTORNEY GENERAL AS REQUESTED BY CPA. THIS SECTION IS NOT INTENDED TO AND SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO REQUIRE BIDDER TO INDEMNIFY OR HOLD HARMLESS THE STATE OR CPA FOR ANY CLAIMS OR LIABILITIES RESULTING FROM THE NEGLIGENT ACTS OR OMISSIONS OF CPA OR ITS EMPLOYEES.

20.

RIGHT TO AUDIT: In addition to and without limitation on the other audit provisions of this SOLICITATION, pursuant to §2262.003, Texas Government Code, the state auditor may conduct an audit or investigation of the bidder or any other entity or person receiving funds from the state directly under this contract or indirectly through a subcontract under this contract. The acceptance of funds by the bidder or any other entity or person directly under this contract or indirectly through a subcontract under this contract acts as acceptance of the authority of the state auditor, under the direction of the legislative audit committee, to conduct an audit or investigation in connection with those funds. Under the direction of the legislative audit committee, the bidder or other entity that is the subject of an audit or investigation by the state auditor must provide the state auditor with access to any information the state auditor considers relevant to the investigation or audit. This SOLICITATION or any contract resulting from this SOLICITATION may be amended unilaterally by TSU to comply with any rules and procedures of the state auditor in the implementation and enforcement of §2262.003, Texas Government Code. Bidder will ensure that this clause concerning the authority to audit funds received indirectly by subcontractors through the bidder and the requirement to cooperate is included in any subcontract it awards.

21.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY: Contractor represents and warrants that it shall not discriminate against any person on the basis of race, color, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, age and disability in the performance of this Contract.

PREFERENCES See Section 2.38 of the State of Texas Procurement Manual regarding preferences. Check below to claim a preference under 34 TAC Rule 20.38

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( ) Supplies, materials or equipment produced in TX or offered by TX bidder or TX bidder that is owned by a service-disabled veteran * ( ) Agricultural products produced or grown in TX ( ) Agricultural products and services offered by TX bidders* ( ) USA produced supplies, materials or equipment ( ) Products of persons with mental or physical disabilities ( ) Products made of recycled, remanufactured, or environmentally sensitive materials including recycled steel ( ) Energy Efficient Products ( ) Rubberized asphalt paving material ( ) Recycled motor oil and lubricants ( ) Products produced at facilities located on formerly contaminated property ( ) Products and services from economically depressed or blighted areas ( ) Vendors that meet or exceed air quality standards ( ) Recycled or Reused Computer Equipment of Other Manufacturers ( ) Foods of Higher Nutritional Value

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HISTORICALLY UNDERUTILIZED BUSINESSES (HUB)

The attached form relating to Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUB Plan) is part of this solicitation and must be completed and submitted with your response. It is posted as one of the Packages on the EBSD.

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TSU STANDARD CONTRACT

The TSU Standard Vendor Agreement is part of this solicitation and will be the contract used for this project. It is posted as one of the Packages on the EBSD. Any changes to our Standard Contract must be approved by TSU General Counsel. If you wish to substitute your contract form, it too will have to be approved by TSU General Counsel.

end

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