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Retirement Entity Seeks IT Vendors to Update Pool

In a new request for proposal, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System is seeking IT consultants for its “Spring-Fed Pool.”

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A state employee retirement entity is looking to freshen up its pool of IT vendors.

In a request for proposal (RFP) released Wednesday, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) seeks “Information Technology Consultants Spring-Fed Pool, Refresh No. 1.” Generally, CalPERS is seeking “qualified information technology service consultants” to replenish expiring contracts in the existing spring-fed pool. The contracts awarded from this refresh will have a contract term from execution through June 30, 2025, CalPERS said in the RFP. Among the takeaways:

  • CalPERS has divided its Services to be Provided section into 13 “service verticals” or general business areas. These are business analysis services, project management services, architecture, information services, application development, IT service management, IT infrastructure and personal productivity services, management support services, IT privacy and security services, specialized IT support services for investment systems/business, user experience design, strategy and research, specialized IT support services for actuarial systems and business; and financial engineering. In each are project roles that “define the type of resources CalPERS has deemed appropriate to execute the work within each of the service verticals.” Respondents can bid on one or more of these 13 verticals and roles – but for any area of bid, the respondent must be available to offer services for the full contract term.
    “Contracts awarded will be in the amount of zero dollars ($0) and will place the successful proposers into a spring-fed pool for each service vertical and project role awarded,” according to the RFP, and there will be negotiations on terms or conditions.
  • Vendors won’t be allowed to start work until contracts are fully executed. CalPERS makes no guarantees on the number of letters of engagement (LOE) or purchase orders any company will be made, and reserves the right to refresh this pool at any point during the five-year term. CalPERS’ overall goals for the spring-fed pool include generating competitive costs and contractor selection for IT consulting; simplifying procurement; reducing delays in meeting needs and finishing projects; expediting and improving service to customers; and providing “flexible/adaptable/streamlined processes and technology.”
  • Minimum qualifications for firms responding include having been in business for at least two years; by final filing date, having successfully wrapped an IT project with a budget of at least $50,000; and having done an IT project for a “company or agency” with at least 50 employees. A subcontractor’s qualifications can’t be used to satisfy these requirements. When an LOE is issued, proposers must meet additional minimum qualifications that are project- or engagement-specific. Requirements for 34 specific project roles ranging from senior technical specialist to instructor; and from DevOps architect to quantitative developer generally are three to five years’ experience, the ability to work independently or as part of a team. Respondent must complete and submit three “client reference and contractor history forms ... for each service vertical project role they are bidding as part of the technical proposal,” per the RFP. Contract award, generally, will be made to proposers that meet the minimum qualifications and have the highest total scores – subject to negotiations.
  • Written questions are due by 3 p.m. March 23, with answers coming March 30. Responses are due by 3 p.m. April 14 with preliminary review of proposals taking place during April and evaluation in May. There’s no set date for a notice of intent to award. Contract start date will take place upon execution.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Industry Insider — California.