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Vendor FAQs

The local need for urine collection/testing indicates the vendor shall use a clinical refractometer to test all urine specimens. Does the clinical refractometer have any other specifications or is any handheld model acceptable?

There is no specific model requirement for the refractometer.

Is a Prob 46 required for polygraph examinations or is this only required for therapeutic services?

No, this form is not required for polygraph testing and urine/breathalyzer testing.

Do we have to use your forms for our staff qualifications or can we use our own?

Please use our form.

Are vendors given veterans' preference?


Will the Probation Office pay for medication assisted treatment for severe opioid disorder?

At this time, the U.S. Probation cannot pay for medication assisted treatment for people with severe opioid use disorder.

When evaluating RFPs, how does the U.S. Probation Office determine what offerors are awarded an agreement? [Statement of Work, Section M (1) and (2)]

Selection of vendors with whom the USPO/USPSO will establish Blanket Purchase Agreements (BPA) will be based on technical acceptability and the lowest price to the Government. If the solicitation document identifies that BPAs will be established with a specified number of vendors, the selection of technically acceptable vendors shall be based on price. To be acceptable and eligible for evaluation, proposals shall be prepared in accordance with the instructions given in Sections B and L of the solicitation document. By submission of a proposal, the offeror accepts all the terms and conditions of the RFP. Proposals that take exception to the terms and conditions will be determined technically unacceptable and the offeror will be so advised. Proposals will be evaluated to be considered Technically Acceptable using the Pass/Fail Criteria. To determine that the offeror has met the criteria, each proposal will be evaluated to determine that every individual requirement has been met.

Is it possible to provide services under the contract while also billing for those services through third-party avenues such as Medicaid and IHS?

Vendors who are awarded an agreement are not precluded from providing client services through other funding entitlements such as grant funding, Medicaid, private insurance, etc. Vendors shall not submit invoices to the Government for services under this agreement where the vendor has already submitted invoices or received payment for the same services from other sources (double billing). In the event a vendor receives payments from insurance programs or other sources for services for which the vendor has received payment from the Government under this agreement, the vendor shall reimburse the Government for these services.

Can subcontractors be added after the contract is awarded?

Yes. As outlined in Section I - after award, any proposed subcontractor arrangements or changes to the existing subcontractor arrangements are subject to the Contracting Officer's approval and shall be submitted in writing to the Contracting Officer at least 30 days in advance of the proposed subcontracting arrangement or change.

Are unit prices inclusive of staffing?

Yes. Unit prices are inclusive of staffings with U.S. Probation and Pretrial Services Officer regarding a client's progress and/or connection to services. Therefore, please consider this as part of your cost for doing business when determining rate proposals.

Section C Description/Statement of Work provides a description for all services. How do I find the service requirements for the services I want to bid on?

Each RFP identifies what project codes are required for the solicitation in Section B. Vendors need to then find those project codes in Section C of the Statement of Work to determine the requirements for each service. Please also be sure to verify at the end of Section C if there are any Local Needs identified for the services you are planning to bid on as these are additional requirements to those listed in the Statement of Work.

The presentence report is part of the referral packet, am I allowed to disclose this document with a signed release of information from the client?

No. The presentence report may be provided to a vendor to assist with the assessment of treatment needs; however, it is prohibited from re-disclosure without the consent of the sentencing judge.

What if I have changes in personnel providing services under the contract/agreement, am I required to notify the court?

Yes. The vendor shall notify the Contracting Officer in writing of any staff changes and provide documentation of any required licensing, certification, experience, and education requirements or changes thereof. The vendor shall submit an Offeror's Staff Qualifications form (Section L - Attachment C) for each new staff member added under the agreement.

Am I required to notify the U.S. Probation Office if a client does not show up for session?

Yes. Practitioners must notify the USPO immediately but no later than 24 hours if the defendant/offender fails to report for treatment, demonstrates conduct that is a violation of a condition of supervision, or there is a third-party risk issue identified. Factors which increase general risk of violence shall be communicated to the USPO/USPSO assigned to the case. If the assigned USPO/USPSO is not available, practitioners shall notify a supervisor or duty officer.

Can I bill the court for treatment staffings?

No. The price of case staffing conferences and consultations should be included in the proposed cost of service (Section B). Case staffing requirements under the contract/agreement include (1) participation in a 3-way meeting with the USPO/USPSO, defendant/offender and vendor for an initial case staffing; (2) meeting with the USPO/USPSO face-to-face or via a telephone conference at least every 30 days to discuss the defendant's/offender's progress in treatment; and (3) consultation and meetings as requested by the USPO / USPSO based on individual client circumstances/needs.

If I do not have the staff capacity to provide requested services, can I utilize a subcontractor?

Yes. Services that the vendor proposes to refer to other service providers shall be considered subcontracting. The vendor (prime contractor) may subcontract the provision of treatment services to other service providers (subcontractors). After award, any proposed subcontractor arrangements or changes to the existing subcontractor arrangements are subject to the Contracting Officer's approval and shall be submitted in writing to the Contracting Officer at least 30 days in advance of the proposed subcontracting arrangement or change. The prime contractor shall not refer defendants/offenders to any other vendor that has not been approved by the Contracting Officer in writing. The government reserves the right to revoke approval of any subcontractor at any time that does not meet the requirements of the contract/agreement. The prime contractor is responsible to the judiciary for overall performance of the services required under the contract/agreement - including any services subcontracted and shall ensure the subcontractor is complying with the requirements of the contract/agreement, including staff qualifications, licensure requirements, reporting, etc.

What are the education requirements for mental health counselors?

Mental health counseling services must be provided by a licensed/certified psychiatrist, psychologist, or masters or doctoral level practitioner who meets the standards of practice to perform psychotherapy / counseling services as established by his/her state's regulatory board.

What does the Estimated Monthly Quantity stand for?

Estimates of the frequency that the services will be required by our office. Each vendor placed on a contract may receive a share of the total quantity stated. These figures are estimates only and the Government is not bound to meet these estimates. *See Section L of the RFP. *

Section E indicates the vendor and/or subcontractor shall (a) Maintain a physical facility that meets all applicable federal, state and local regulations. Is this required for each catchment area I want to provide services in?

Vendors are required to maintain a physical facility for services in each catchment area they intend to serve. Vendors are not required to own the space, but it still needs to be an actual space occupied in compliance with all applicable business or operating licenses required by state and local laws and regulations. Leased space is permissible, if the space complies with all federal, state and local fire, safety and health codes.

Section C indicates for counseling services the vendor shall provide emergency services when counselors aren't available. What if our agency doesn't provide afterhours emergency/crisis support?

If vendor personnel are not able to directly provide afterhours emergency / crisis support, then a vendor must provide clients with the telephone number or contact information for local hotlines and emergency services should they need to access them outside of the vendors regular business hours.

Who do I mail my [proposal] package to?

You will find the contracting offer and address to which you should submit your proposal package on Page A-1, Box 5 of the RFP for which you are submitting a proposal. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will accept proposals via email.

What are the education requirements for substance abuse counselors?

Substance abuse counseling services practitioners shall have at least one of the following (a or b):

  1. An advanced degree (masters or doctoral level) in behavioral science, preferably psychology or social work;
  2. A BA/BS and at least two years of drug treatment training and/or experience. Counselors shall be certified and/or have credentials to engage in substance abuse treatment intervention as established by his/her state’s regulatory board and/or accrediting agency.

Do I need to provide a price for each fiscal year listed by the project code?

Yes. For your proposal to be determined technically acceptable, a unit price must be proposed next to each project code. The unit price can be the same for each year listed or you can change the proposed rate for each year.

Do I need to list a unit price next to each project code?

Yes, for your proposal to be determined technically acceptable, a unit price must be proposed next to each required project code. The unit price can be the same for each year listed or you can change the proposed rate for each year.

Which sections of the proposal do I need to return?

The offeror should return Sections A, B, Section J (Attachment J.1), Section K and Section L (Attachments A, B, C and D). All supporting documents requested for each section should be attached to the proposal.

Can I receive a sample of Attachments A, B, C, or D?

No. The U.S. Probation Office cannot provide samples of attachments A, B, C & D. Please refer to See Section L of the RFP for instructions on how to complete these attachments.

Do you want education and licenses for staff?

Yes. Please see Attachment C in Section L as well as the Question/Answer below regarding education requirements for substance abuse and mental health counselors.

Which sections of the proposal do I keep?

The offeror is not required to submit Sections C, D, E, F, G, H, I, or M as part of the proposal.

What does the Offeror’s Background Statement mean?

Please see Section L.1, Preparation of Background Statement which gives specific instructions on completing the Background Statement.

We provide services in more cities than the one in which we currently provide contracted services for the USPO. Can we submit a proposal for those other locations or only for the region we are currently in?

Yes. You are free to submit a proposal for any BPA for which you can provide services.

Section J – Attachment J.1, Program Discharge Summary. Are you wanting the demographics of all my offender clients for the past 12 months? I don't remember having filled that one out before. Or is it just the federal clients?

The first footnote states: "Shall include entire clientele (federal, state, and local). Shall not be limited to only federal probation and pretrial services referrals."

Can I start performing services before I receive a referral from the U.S. Probation Office?

No. The Probation Form 45 is your authorization to commence services. Any services performed prior to receipt of a Probation Form 45 may not be reimbursed.

Am I allowed to bill for "no shows"?

No. Vendors may include a "no show" factor in the unit price charged for services outlined in Section G but shall not include a charge for "no show" as a separate item.

When do I have to submit invoicing for payment?

Invoices must be submitted monthly to arrive no later than the 10th of the month, for services provided during the preceding month.

How is my proposal evaluated?

Proposals are evaluated on the following criteria: Technically Acceptability Evaluation, Price Evaluation, On-Site Evaluation, Responsibility Determination.

Is the deadline for submitting proposals flexible?

No. Only those proposals received by the solicitation's specified deadline are considered timely and eligible for evaluation and award.

If I have questions what should I do?

Please submit questions in writing to: Upon receipt, questions will be uploaded to this website for everyone to view.

What is a catchment area and am I required to have a physical facility in that area?

Catchment areas are identified geographic boundaries or zones where services will be provided. Vendors are required to have a physical facility location within a catchment area in order to propose services.

Will pretrial clients participate in polygraph testing?

Yes, if ordered by the court. The polygraph may be used on pretrial defendants in a very limited scope to assess compliance with the conditions of release.

Is travel reimbursement offered for any locations? There is mention of a Travel Log and "Common Carrier" mentioned in the RFP.

Vendor local travel is not authorized unless included as a local need. In general, the court is prohibited from paying vendor travel to their own office or to conduct services in a catchment area away from their office.

Will the U.S. Probation Office offer prompt payment in exchange for a discount as provided for in Section A, Block 9 of the Request for Proposal (RFP)?

This section of the RFP is required to be completed by the offeror; however, utilization of the discount for prompt payment is at the discretion of the U.S. Probation Office.

Is a requirement for the U.S. Probation office to be notified when persons under supervision have private health insurance?

There is no requirement in the statement of work regarding notification of private health insurance to the U.S. Probation Office; however, there is no objection to the notification as a courtesy.

Is the entering our best unit price a total lump sum for the year or a price for each unit per (intake, session, group session or Assessment)?

The price per unit (intake, session, group session or assessment) completed for this solicitation.