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Questions and Answers pertaining to the Interpretation & Translation Services RFP dated 1-28-20

1.  Question:   Is this a new or existing contract?  

     Answer:   We currently are not under a contract. 

 2.  Question:  If this in an existing contract, who is the incumbent vendor 

     and what were the rates charged on the previous contract?   

     Answer:   We are not currently under a contract. 

     Our current contractor rates are as follows: 

      In Person Interpretation:  $60 per hour (minimum 1 hour)

       No travel charges

       Over the Phone:  $1.50 per minute for all languages

       Translation:   Minimum charge $70.00 plus target rate of $0.18 - $0.20

       per target word and reduced rates for updating previously translated

       documents

 3. Question:  If this in an existing contract, what are some of the

    challenges you encountered on the previous contract?  If this is a new

    contract, what are some of the challenges that you anticipate? 

     Answer:    The biggest challenge we have faced working with previous

     language vendors is having onsite interrupters in the requested

     language available when needed.  This is especially challenging during

     parent-teacher conferences each fall when all 14 elementary schools

     need interrupters on the same day.  

 4.  Question:  If this in an existing contract, what was the annual revenue

     for each contract year, or what is the anticipated annual revenue

     (volume in# of words for translation, # of hours for on-site interpretation,

     # of minutes for telephonic interpretation, etc.) for the new contract? 

      Answer:     We do not have a current contract.  

 5.  Question:  Does the District have a preference for a single vendor that

     can provide ALL services requested, or is this contract intended to be a

     multiple award wherein some vendors may not provide all the of the

     requested services? 

     Answer:  We welcome proposals from all companies located in the

     United States, however our ideal   vendor will have all the requested

     English Language services available.  However, based on the

     responses to this RFP we may determine that  the use of multiple

     vendors will best meet the needs of our diverse school community.

 6.  Question:    Could you please provide a list of the most frequently

     requested languages and approximate percentages of volume per

     language (e.g., 50% in Spanish, 20% in Chinese, etc.)?   

      Answer:    Spanish 54%, Arabic 9%, Swahili 9%, Nepali 6%

 7.  Question:    The industry standard minimum charge for on-site

     interpretation is two (2) hours.  Will the District consider updating this in

     the statement of work. 

      Answer:    Thank you for this information, however,  we will not be

     making any changes to the statement of work for this RFP. 

 8.  Question:    For written translation, the industry standard is to charge by

     source word count (or English word count), not by target. This is

     especially important in cases such as Arabic, Chinese and other

     languages that do not utilize the Latin alphabet, as many of these

     language use character-based systems and Microsoft –Word (and other

     word counting programs) cannot reliably or accurately determine the

     number of “words.” Therefore, charging based on the English-language

     word count would be the most accurate and fair for both the District and

     the vendor. Will the District consider this modification to the pricing

     metrics for written translation? 

      Answer:  Thank you for this information, if vendors would like to submit

     their bids using both pricing structures we would be glad to review both

     to determine what best fits our needs.   

9.  Question:    For large documents (e.g., greater than 10,000 words), is

     the District willing to negotiate longer turnaround times than the

     standard five (5) business days?  

     Answer:     For a single document, in a single language that has greater

     than 10,000 words the district will increase the required turnaround time

     to seven (7) business days or less.  This increase in turnaround time will

     not apply to multiple documents and/or the same document in multiple

     languages where the  total number of pages requested at the same

     time have greater than 10,000 words.  

 10.  Question:    Will formatting/layout/desktop publishing (DTP) services in

       graphic design programs such as Adobe InDesign or Quark Xpress  

       ever be required for translated documents?  If so, what is the preferred

       pricing metrics for this service (e.g., per hour or per page)? 

       Answer:   If these services were to be requested the preferred pricing     

      metric would be based on a per page rate. 

 11.Question:    Can the District please describe its

     understanding/definition of an Education Interpreter?   

      Answer:  Educational  Interpreters would be required to have a current

     EIPA certification and would have the primary task of interpreting for the

     Deaf and Hard of Hearing students. 

 12. Question:    Do you have a preference for vendors with physical office

      located in New Hampshire? 

       Answer:   Offices must be located within the United States of America.  

      Manchester School does not have a preference on office

      location in the US, however local in person interpreters are required.    

 13. Question:    Is there a requirement for background investigations for

      on-site interpreters?  If so, what types of background investigation is

      acceptable to the District and will the District or vendor bear the cost of

      the investigation? 

       Answer:   Yes, all vendors are responsible for bearing the cost of the

      background investigations for their employees.  Vendors and their

      employees would be required to  complete the State of NH Department   

      of Safety Criminal History Record Background check process. 

 14. Question:    Is there an incumbent vendor for these services? 

       Answer:   Currently, there are multiple sources that are being utilized

      to support the District.   

 15. Question: If so, what rates do they provide?

       Answer:   Please see question # 2

 16. Question:   What has been the biggest challenge for fulfilling services

      under this contract, or if this is a new contract, are there any challenges  

      that you anticipate?  

       Answer:   Please see question #3

 17. Question:    What is the expected volume of this contract? 

       Answer:  We do not have a current contract in place.  Therefore it is

      makes it difficult to make projections for a future contract. 

 18. Question:   Is there any historical data for Interpretation and

      Translation Services? 

       Answer:   No

 19. Question:    Is this RFP open to out of state vendors? 

       Answer:   Please see question #12

 20.  Question:    Is this a multiple source award contract? 

       Answer:   Please see question #5. 

 21. Question:    In regards to the Interpretation and Translation Services

      RFP, are you willing to accept proposals form companies who cannot

      complete the in person interpretation? 

       Answer:   Please see question #5. 

 22. Question:    Are you planning on awarding this contract to one vendor

      or several vendors ? 

       Answer:   Please see question #5. 

23. Question:    In order to submit a bid, must a vendor be able to provide

      ALL listed services or can they state which services they can provide? 

      i.e. written translation, but not on-site interpreting. 

       Answer:   Please see question #5. 

 24. Question:    Regarding fingerprinting of interpreters, is that required

      only for in-person interpretation or is that a requirement for Telephone

      Interpretation and Translators as well? 

      Answer:    Vendors and all of their employees who will be working with

      the Manchester School District would need to meet the requirements of

      the State of NH Criminal Background Check for all employees that

      will be working with Manchester School District. 

 25. Question:    Would the School consider using Video Remote

      interpreting instead of on site.  These can be scheduled as well as

      onsite, but are cost efficient and provide the best interpreters in US. 

     Answer:    We welcome proposals from all companies, however our

     Ideal  vendor would have onsite interpretation as the primary means of

     interpretation.  Video Remote interpreting service would be only used in

     Last minute/Emergency situations where onsite  interpretation is not

     available. 

 26. Question:    Can you give a rough idea of what languages are most

      often needed in Manchester ? 

       Answer:   

·         Spanish

  • Arabic
  • Swahili
  • Nepali
  • Vietnamese
  • Maay Maay
  • French
  • Somali
  • Portuguese
  • Urdu
  • Bosnian 
  • Rwanda
  • Albanian
  • Haitan Creole, French
  • Bantu
  • Chinese

 27. Question:    What is the school district’s estimated volume per month

       telephone interpretation?  I.E. minutes per month? Calls per month?

       Any estimates would be incredibly useful. 

       Answer:    See question # 18

 28. Question:    What is the estimated or anticipated language mix for the

      telephonic interpretation?  I.E. Spanish 70% Mandarin 20% etc. 

       Answer:   The most frequently requested languages are Spanish 54%,

      Arabic 9%, Swahili 9%, Nepali 6%

 29. Question:    If there is an incumbent for these services, would the

      district be able to provide the vendors name and the rates currently

      paid?

      Answer:    Please see question #2. 

 30. Question:    Will the school district allow for vendors to submit

      proposals for select services, but not for all? For example, would our

      team be able to submit a proposal for telephonic interpretation, and not

      for on-site interpretation?

       Answer:    Please see question #5

 31. Question:    Will the school district allow for vendors to propose a per

       minute rate for Spanish telephonic interpretation and a separate per

       minute rate for all other languages?

       Answer:    Yes, but the vendor will need to explain their reasoning

       behind this. 

 32. Question:    How much telephonic interpretation has the school district

      utilized in the last year?

       Answer:    Please see question #18

 33. Question:    Will fingerprinting be required for remote, telephonic

     interpreters, who will not have any direct access to Manchester staff or

     students, and will not be physically on site?

       Answer:    Please see question # 25

 34. Question:    Will suicide training be required for remote, telephonic

      interpreters, who will not have any direct access to Manchester staff or

      students, and will not be physically on site?

      Answer:  Suicide training will be required for all Vendors and all of their

      employees who will be working with the Manchester School District.

 35. Question:    Do you have information on how much money MSD spent

       on In-Person Interpretation, Over the Phone Interpretation, Document

       Translation, and ASL for the last few years (approximate info. Is OK)?

       a. Can you break this down per category and per year?

       Answer:  Please see question #18.   

 36.  Question:    I was going over your requirements listed in the RFP for

      ASL appointments and comparing them to the NH DOE (RSA 200-

      C:20) and your requirements seem to be opposite what NH DOE is   

      requiring of state and municipal agencies when it comes to cancelation

      and how ASL interpreters are paid (paying minimum of 2 hours and

      reimbursing interpreters for travel cost, 24 hours cancelations, etc.). Are

      you aware of requirements listed here:   

      https://www.education.nh.gov/career/vocational/documents/interp_guide.pdf (page # 17)

       Answer:  Vendors should submit an RFP response that meets there

       internal organization’s guidelines and pricing module.

 37. Question:    What is the length of the contract? 

       Answer:    The District’s desired term of the contract has been clarified

      in addendum #1 that has been posted to the website.  Please see

     http://finance.mansd.org/bids for more information.   


     TERM:  The term date for the contract should be for one (1) year

     starting July 1, 2020.  The district shall have the option to renew the

     contract for one (1) additional year under the same terms and conditions

     subject to the appropriation of funds.    

     When submitting a proposal please include pricing for both one (1) and

     two (2) year options. 

 38. Question:  Are you looking for Educational ASL interpreters to be

       substitute interpreters or do you envision this as an ongoing need? 

        a.    If there is an ongoing need, how many hours per week?

       Answer:    Our needs vary year-to-year based on enrollment.   At times

      substitute interpreters may be  needed.    

 39. Question:  Is MSD requiring fingerprinting or is this optional (as this is

      listed under “ideal translator and interpreter qualifications”)? 

       Answer:    Fingerprinting is required. 

 40. Question:    Are you requiring fingerprinting for Over the Phone

      Interpreters as well?

 

a.       If yes, are you OK with fingerprinting at the location where people

 live (if they live in other state/country)?

       Answer:    Please see question #25

               

a.    No, they will need to complete a State of NH Criminal

Background Check

 41. Question:    For fingerprinting, are you requiring that records be

      released to MSD or can the interpreting agency can get them and share

      them with MSD when (and if) needed?

       Answer:    Records must be release to Manchester School District

 42. Question:    Page 3 of the RFP states : “Request, approve and confirm

      interpreters (on site and telephone)”. Will MSD staff be approving

      assigned on-site interpreters?   Same question for telephone

      interpreters?  Also, how do you envision this happening if that is the

      expectation?

       Answer:  Using a Web-based Interpreter/Translation Management

      System district staff can approve requests entered by the schools. 

  43. Question:    Page 5 of the RFP states, invoices must contain “name of

      interpreter, name of the person requesting who requested services”.

      Are you requesting this for Over the Phone Interpreters as well?  Will

      Interpreters’ ID# be sufficient?

       Answer:    Yes, we are requesting the name be give for Over the

      Phone Interpreters. 

44. Question:    Question on “yearly suicide prevention training”,  is this

       optional?

a.       If not optional, Is this required for Over the Phone Interpreters? 

b.       Can this be completed in an on-line venue?

       Answer:  See question # 35

         a.  Effective on July 1, 2020, NH State law will require the

         training of school faculty and staff, include contracted personnel on

         suicide prevention. 

         b.  The training format is to be determined at this time. 

 45. Question:    Can you confirm if Manchester School District is looking to

      receive vendor responses for all services listed in the RFP document or

      can bidders submit responses for specific portions of the services listed

      under this RFP?

       E.g. Bid response for WRITTEN TRANSLATION SERVICES ONLY  

       Answer:    Please see question #5

 46. Question:    We are interested vendors for your Request for Proposal

      from Manchester School District but would like to find out whether it is

      possible to bid for Telephone Interpretation and Written Translation

      Services or if you are looking for a vendor who can provide you with all

      the services mentioned in the RFP at once.

       Answer:    Please see question #5

 47. Question:    Are emergency written translations needed 24 hours per

      day, 7 days per week, 365 days per year like it is for interpreting? Or is

      written translation only needed on business days?

       Answer:   There may be rare emergency events where written

      translation may be needed  7 days per week, 365 days per year. 

 48. Question:    How many vendors currently service this work? 

       Answer:    Currently, we have several layers of support in place to    

      meet the needs of our district. We utilize vendors, liaisons, district staff

      and pier diem contracted service providers. 

 49. Question:    How many vendors is the school district looking to award?

       Answer:    See question #5

 50. Question:    Will all questions and answers from all vendors be shared

      across all interested parties?  

      Answer:    All answers will be posted to the RFP page of our website.

 51. Question:    What is the purpose and goal for the school district to go

      out to bid? 

      Answer:   The district's purpose and goal in going out to bid allows us

      to stay in compliance with the policies set forth by the Board of School

      Committee specifically Fiscal Policy 119-Bidding Procedures. In the

      end, our goal is to find the best solution which meets the needs of a

      specific project at the most reasonable price.

 52. Question:    What challenges does the school district currently face

      with language services? 

       Answer:    Please see question #3

 53. Question:    Are the incumbent vendors participating in the bid as

      well?  If so, who is participating. 

       Answer:    This RFP is open to all vendors who can meet the listed

      requirements.  We are not currently under contract. 

 54. Question:    Is the current contract available to the public? 

       Answer:    We are not currently under contract.

 55. Question:    For telephone interpreting are you able to provide a

      breakdown by language?  For example 80% of the minutes were

      Spanish and the remaining 20% were all other languages.

       Answer:    This data is unavailable. 

 56. Question:    How many minutes of OPI were billed in 2019? 

       Answer:    This data is unavailable. 

 57. Question:   How many minutes of VRI were billed in 2019? 

       Answer:    This data is unavailable. 

 58. Question:    What was the translation spend in 2019? 

       Answer:    This data is unavailable. 

 59. Question:    Can you provide a language list for all languages used last

      year for telephone interpreting? 

       Answer:   

Albanian

Arabic

Armenian

Bangla

Bosnian

Cambodian

Chinese

Creole

Czech & Slovak 

Danish

Dutch

Farsi

Filipino 

French

German

Greek

Hebrew

Hindi

Hmong

Italian

Japanese

Korean

Kurdish

Laotian

Malay & Indonesia

Mai Mai / Maay

Nepali

Norwegian

Polish

Portuguese

Romanian

Russian

Slovak

Spanish

Somali

Swahili

Swedish

Tagalog

Thai

Turkish

Vietnamese

Ukranian

Urdu

 60. Question:    Does the current vendor need to collect any information

      during the call? 

       Answer: At the start of the call, the caller will most likely be asked to

      provide the following information to School Code, Language, Name,

      School, Type of Meeting to help determine length of call.   

 61. Question:    Can you please advise on the top 10 languages most

      frequently requested for translation and interpretation support? 

       Answer:    Please see question #27

 62. Question:    Is there a consistent source and target language for

      translation?  For example are all documents in English and need to be

      translated into a foreign language or possibly some other combination?

       Answer:    The majority of our documents will need to be translated

      from English into another language.   

 63. Question:    Is the district accepting bids for specific services (for    

      example Written Translation and Over the Phone/Video Remote

      Interpreting ONLY), or does each bid need include a proposal for all

      services?   

       Answer:    Please see question # 5

 64. Question:    Has the district looked into Video Remote Interpreting as a

      supplement to On-Site interpreting to allow for on – demand access

      and cost savings?   

       Answer:  Manchester School District would be interested in reviewing

      Video Remote Interpreting as a possible supplement. 

 65. Question:    How frequently will Rush documents need to be

      processed, what is the typical content subject matter and size of Rush

      documents (to understand necessary workflows to meet a 1 day Rush

      turnaround)? 

      Answer:    The need for rush documents will vary. Some examples

      include, but are not limited to letters from the Superintendent and

      Permission Slips.  

 66. Question:    What is the average size of a translation requirement from

      the district (to understand necessary workflow to meet a 5 day

      Standard turnaround)?

       Answer:    The average type of documents being translated varies

      greatly.  Some examples include, but are not limited to letters from the

      Superintendent, registration forms and Permission Slips.  

 67. Question:    Was there a previous RFP for these services?  If so, can

      we see that previous RFP document. 

       Answer:    We do not have a previous RFP for these services.

 68. Question:    Is there an incumbent vendor for this bid?  If an award was   

      made, please name the incumbents (s). 

       Answer:    We have not had a previous bid for these services.

 69. Question:    If there is an incumbent, at what rates are services being

      offered? 

       Answer:    Please see question # 2

 70. Question:    Can the Manchester School District (MSD) provide us with

      volume estimates for translation/interpreting services that will be

      required as part of any contract resulting from this RFP? 

      Approximately how many words of translation will be required (broken

      down by language)?  How many hours of interpreting (broken down by

      language)? 

       Answer:    Please see question #18

 71. Question:    Can MSD provide us with historical usage data for the

      translation and interpreting services requested as part of this RFP? 

       Answer:    Please see question #18

 72. Question:    Would MSD be interested in Video Remote Interpreting

     (VRI) either as a supplement to or substitute for on-site interpreting    

     and/or telephonic interpreting services? 

      Answer:    Manchester School District would be interested in reviewing

      Video Remote Interpreting as a possible supplement. 

 73.  Question:    Are the incumbent vendor(s) and the rates they are

       charging for interpretation and translation services, currently being

       solicited under RFP for interpretation and translation. 

       Answer:    Please see question #2. More information about current

       services can be found at:

        http://englishlearners.mansd.org/language-assistance/interpretation-services

 

74. Question:    Can you please tell me the contract length for the above

      RFP? 

       Answer:    The District’s desired term of the contract has been clarified

      in addendum #1 that has been posted to the website.  Please see

     http://finance.mansd.org/bids for more information. 

 

     TERM:  The term date for the contract should be for one (1) year

     starting July 1, 2020.  The district shall have the option to renew the

     contract for one (1) additional year under the same terms and conditions

     subject to the appropriation of funds.    


     When submitting a proposal please include pricing for both one (1) and

     two (2) year options.
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