Department of Buildings and General Services
Office of Purchasing & Contracting
109 State Street
Montpelier VT 05609-3001
Agency of Administration
REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL
RFP RESPONSES DUE BY
April 15, 2021
April 22, 2021 by 3:00 PM (EST)
April 29, 2021 at 4:30 PM (EST)
PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT ALL NOTIFICATIONS, RELEASES, AND ADDENDUMS ASSOCIATED
WITH THIS RFP WILL BE POSTED AT:
THE STATE WILL MAKE NO ATTEMPT TO CONTACT INTERESTED PARTIES WITH UPDATED
INFORMATION. IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EACH BIDDER TO PERIODICALLY CHECK THE
ABOVE WEBPAGEFOR ANY AND ALL NOTIFICATIONS, RELEASES AND ADDENDUMS
ASSOCIATED WITH THIS RFP.
Deb LaRose, State Purchasing Agent
1.1. SCOPE AND BACKGROUND: Through this Request for Proposal (RFP) the Office of Purchasing &
Contracting (hereinafter the “State”) is seeking to establish contracts with one or more companies that
can provide Hearing Aids for Vocation Rehab (VocRehab) Clients.
1.2. BACKGROUND: Current Contracts The state is seeking purchasing contract for hearing aids, primarily
for clients with hearing loss whole are connected to the State’s Agency of Human Services. The
Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation will be
the primary user, but other State agencies will also have access to the contract.
Under the program to date, Contractors receive referrals form Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors,
along with a consumer’s audiogram and recommendation for specific hearing aids from a licensed
audiologist or licensed hearing aid dispenser. Based on the recommendations, pricing and model
availability, device (s) will be ordered and sent to the audiologist or hearing aid dispenser for fitting. The
state is invoiced directly for the State portion of the purchase.
The State wants to continue to have a robust, and if possible, expanded, set of local providers, providing
both service and geographic location options.
The State also wants to, if possible, expand the range of potential ways of sourcing and receiving
discount on product, while also keeping local providers actively engaged in the delivery process.
1.3. CONTRACT PERIOD: Contracts arising from this RFP will be for a period of 24 MONTHS with an option
to renew for up to two additional twelve-month periods.
1.4. SINGLE POINT OF CONTACT: All communications concerning this RFP are to be addressed in writing
to the State Contact listed on the front page of this RFP. Actual or attempted contact with any other
individual from the State concerning this RFP is strictly prohibited and may result in disqualification.
1.5. QUESTION AND ANSWER PERIOD: Any vendor requiring clarification of any section of this RFP or
wishing to comment on any requirement of the RFP must submit specific questions in writing no later
than the deadline for question indicated on the first page of this RFP. Questions may be e-mailed to the
point of contact on the front page of this RFP. Questions or comments not raised in writing on or before
the last day of the question period are thereafter waived. At the close of the question period a copy of all
questions or comments and the State's responses will be posted on the State’s web site
http://bgs.vermont.gov/purchasing/bids. Every effort will be made to post this information as soon as
possible after the question period ends, contingent on the number and complexity of the questions.
1.6. CHANGES TO THIS RFP: Any modifications to this RFP will be made in writing by the State through the
issuance of an Addendum to this RFP and posted online at http://www.bgs.state.vt.us/pca/bids/bids.php .
Verbal instructions or written instructions from any other source are not to be considered.
2. DETAILED REQUIREMENTS: There are three different scenario for the Scope of Work for these
contract. Please bid on one of the following (please see price sheet for categories and how to indicate
which way(s) you may be bidding):
2.1. Manufacturer or wholesaler willing to enter into a contract with the State to offer specific favorable pricing to
be made available for VocRehab end users, and to make that pricing available to/through any Vermont
practitioner working with a VocRehab consumer.
2.1.1.The State respectfully declines at this time to accept, and will not accept, proposals from benefits
managers or entities whose main business model is only as a for-profit buying group.
2.2. Vermont Practitioner willing to (check any/all that apply):
□ 2.2.1. - Enter Into a contract with the State to source hearing assistive devices, at a manufacturer or
wholesaler’s contracted discount price set in a State contract with a manufacturer or wholesaler, for
– patients of that practitioner, themselves
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– other Vermont practitioners for provision to the other practitioners’ patients
□ 2.2.2. - Enter into a contract with the State to source hearing aids at contracted discount, with the
discount set by the practitioner themselves in a contract between that practitioner and the State, for
-Patient of that practitioner, themselves
-other Vermont practitioners for provision to other practitioners’ patients.
2.3. 2.3 Contractor must be able to offer the State a broad spectrum of hearing devices, preferably from as
many reputable manufacturers as possible. .
2.4. In addition to traditional FDA-regulated hearing aids, contractors are invited and encouraged to offer other
assistive listening/hearing devices such as FM loops, personal amplifiers, etc.
2.5. As hearing devices are undergoing many technological changes, the contractor must have the necessary
experience and contact to keep abreast of those developments and obtain product from new
manufacturers not initially established on the contract. State of the art, proven programmable and digital
devices are of special interest.
2.6. Prices quoted will be a percentage off a manufacturer’s price list. Please see additional information
regarding pricing within the Price Sheet. While price list may change during this contract, this percentage
will remain consistent. It will be the responsibility of the contractor to notify the State of such changes and
to furnish revised price lists.
2.7. If a manufacturer does not publish a price list, then contract may bid a “cost plus” percentage. However the
State must be provided the manufacturer’s invoice to verify the cost on which the price is based.
2.8. The contractor must provide a business email address.
2.9. It is desirable that contract have an internet website they will provide easy access to pricing.
It is desirable that the contractor can provide “loaner” if it is necessary for a unit to be repaired.
TWO batteries must be included in the purchase price and be shipped with the device.
A written copy of the warranty must accompany each device for reference by the user.
All devices must be sold with a 30-day money back return policy.
All devices must comply with the applicable Federal and Vermont laws.
3. GENERAL REQUIREMENTS:
3.1. PRICING: Bidders must price the terms of this solicitation at their best pricing. Any and all costs that
Bidder wishes the State to consider must be submitted for consideration. If applicable, all equipment
pricing is to include F.O.B. delivery to the ordering facility. No request for extra delivery cost will be
honored. All equipment shall be delivered assembled, serviced, and ready for immediate use, unless
otherwise requested by the State.
3.1.1.Prices and/or rates shall remain firm for the initial term of the contract. The pricing policy submitted by
Bidder must (i) be clearly structured, accountable, and auditable and (ii) cover the full spectrum of
materials and/or services required.
3.1.2.Cooperative Agreements. Bidders that have been awarded similar contracts through a competitive
bidding process with another state and/or cooperative are welcome to submit the pricing in response
to this solicitation.
3.2. STATEMENT OF RIGHTS: The State shall have the authority to evaluate Responses and select the
Bidder(s) as may be determined to be in the best interest of the State and consistent with the goals and
performance requirements outlined in this RFP. The State of Vermont reserves the right to obtain
clarification or additional information necessary to properly evaluate a proposal. Failure of vendor to
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respond to a request for additional information or clarification could result in rejection of that vendor's
proposal. To secure a project that is deemed to be in the best interest of the State, the State reserves the
right to accept or reject any and all bids, in whole or in part, with or without cause, and to waive
technicalities in submissions. The State also reserves the right to make purchases outside of the awarded
contracts where it is deemed in the best interest of the State.
3.2.1.Best and Final Offer (BAFO). At any time after submission of Responses and prior to the final
selection of Bidder(s) for Contract negotiation or execution, the State may invite Bidder(s) to provide a
BAFO. The state reserves the right to request BAFOs from only those Bidders that meet the minimum
qualification requirements and/or have not been eliminated from consideration during the evaluation
3.2.2.Presentation. An in-person or webinar presentation by the Bidder may be required by the State if it
will help the State’s evaluation process. The State will factor information presented during
presentations into the evaluation. Bidders will be responsible for all costs associated with providing
3.3. EXECUTIVE ORDER 05-16: CLIMATE CHANGE CONSIDERATIONS IN STATE PROCUREMENTS:
For bid amounts exceeding $25,000.00 Bidders are requested to complete the Climate Change
Considerations in State Procurements Certification, which is included in the Certificate of Compliance for
After consideration of all relevant factors, a bidder that demonstrates business practices that promote
clean energy and address climate change as identified in the Certification, shall be given favorable
consideration in the competitive bidding process. Such favorable consideration shall be consistent with
and not supersede any preference given to resident bidders of the State and/or products raised or
manufactured in the State, as explained in the Method of Award section. But, such favorable
consideration shall not be employed if prohibited by law or other relevant authority or agreement.
3.4. METHOD OF AWARD: Awards will be made under the provisions of 29 V.S.A. § 903. The State may
award one or more contracts and reserves the right to make additional awards to other compliant bidders
at any time if such award is deemed to be in the best interest of the State. All other considerations being
equal, preference will be given first to resident bidders of the state and/or to products raised or
manufactured in the state, and then to bidders who have practices that promote clean energy and address
climate change, as identified in the applicable Certificate of Compliance.
3.4.1.Evaluation Criteria: Consideration shall be given to the Bidder’s qualifications and experience,
ability to provide the products/services within the defined timeline, cost, to the extent specified.
3.4.2.In addition to considering each bidder’s proposed products and pricing as individually related
to that bidder, the State reserves the right and discretion to select multiple providers, from
across the categories of desired vendors (manufacturers &/or distributors, local providers)
and/or locations within the State to provide an overall portfolio of diverse product and service
offerings and potential geographic points of delivery to customers needing hearing aids. The
State reserves sole discretion to determine the best interests of the State and its served
constituents, in deciding the size, reach, and composition of that overall portfolio of product and
3.5. CONTRACT NEGOTIATION: Upon completion of the evaluation process, the State may select one or
more Vendors with which to negotiate a contract, based on the evaluation findings and other criteria
deemed relevant for ensuring that the decision made is in the best interest of the State. In the event State
is not successful in negotiating a contract with a selected Vendor, the State reserves the option of
negotiating with another Vendor, or to end the proposal process entirely.
3.6. COST OF PREPARATION: Bidder shall be solely responsible for all expenses incurred in the
preparation of a response to this RFP and shall be responsible for all expenses associated with any
presentations or demonstrations associated with this request and/or any proposals made.
3.7. CONTRACT TERMS: The selected bidder(s) will be expected to sign a contract with the State, including
the Standard Contract Form and Attachment C as attached to this RFP for reference.
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3.7.1.Business Registration. To be awarded a contract by the State of Vermont a vendor (except an
individual doing business in his/her own name) must be registered with the Vermont Secretary of
State’s office http://www.sec.state.vt.us/tutor/dobiz/forms/fcregist.htm and must obtain a Contractor’s
Business Account Number issued by the Vermont Department of Taxes http://tax.vermont.gov/ .
3.7.2.The contract will obligate the bidder to provide the services and/or products identified in its bid, at the
3.7.3.Payment Terms. All invoices are to be rendered by the Contractor on the vendor's standard billhead
and forwarded directly to the institution or agency ordering materials or services and shall specify the
address to which payments will be sent. Payment terms are Net 30 days from receipt of an error-free
invoice with all applicable supporting documentation. Percentage discounts may be offered for
prompt payments of invoices; however, such discounts must be in effect for a period of 30 days or
more in order to be considered in making awards.
3.7.4.Quality. If applicable, all products provided under a contract with the State will be new and unused,
unless otherwise stated. Factory seconds or remanufactured products will not be accepted unless
specifically requested by the purchasing agency. All products provided by the contractor must meet
all federal, state, and local standards for quality and safety requirements. Products not meeting these
standards will be deemed unacceptable and returned to the contractor for credit at no charge to the
3.8. SUBSTITUTION: Vendors may offer, in their bids, substitutes to items identified by a manufacturer’s
number or brand. When offering a substitution, vendor must describe any differences and provide
technical information that will assist in the evaluation.
3.9. ENVIRONMENTAL INFORMATION: Bidders are requested to complete the Environmental Information
Form which is included in the Certificate of Compliance for this RFP identifying the following for each
product being quoted:
a. Percent (%) of recycled content and post-consumer content; and
b. Mercury content certification.
3.10.1. Bidder Supplied Samples: The Commissioner reserves the right to request from the
Bidder/Contractor a representative sample(s) of the Product offered at any time prior to or after
award of a contract. Unless otherwise instructed, samples shall be furnished within the time
specified in the request. Untimely submission of a sample may constitute grounds for rejection of
Bid or cancellation of the Contract. Samples must be submitted free of charge and be accompanied
by the Bidder’s name and address, any descriptive literature relating to the Product and a statement
indicating how and where the sample is to be returned. Where applicable, samples must be
properly labeled with the appropriate Bid or Contract reference.
A sample may be held by the Commissioner during the entire term of the Contract and for a
reasonable period thereafter for comparison with deliveries. At the conclusion of the holding period
the sample, where feasible, will be returned as instructed by the Bidder, at the Bidder’s expense and
risk. Where the Bidder has failed to fully instruct the Commissioner as to the return of the sample
(i.e., mode and place of return, etc.) or refuses to bear the cost of its return, the sample shall
become the sole property of the receiving entity at the conclusion of the holding period.
3.10.2. Enhanced Samples: When an approved sample exceeds the minimum specifications, all Product
delivered must be of the same enhanced quality and identity as the sample. Thereafter, in the event
of a Contractor’s default, the Commissioner may procure a Product substantially equal to the
enhanced sample from other sources, charging the Contractor for any additional costs incurred.
3.10.3. Conformance with Sample(s): Submission of a sample (whether or not such sample is tested by,
or for, the Commissioner) and approval thereof shall not relieve the Contractor from full compliance
with the requirements specified in this RFP. If in the judgment of the Commissioner the sample or
product submitted is not in accordance with the specifications or testing requirements prescribed in
the Bid Specifications, the Commissioner may reject the Bid. If an award has been made, the
Commissioner may cancel the Contract at the expense of the Contractor.
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