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The Executive Committee of the Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board (Committee), acting under the authority of the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA), is soliciting proposals from responsible publishers to publish the SSUTA and associated documents (collectively, the SSUTA Documents) and to provide related services. The Committee will negotiate and enter into a contract for the continued publication of the SSUTA Documents, in various forms, with a publisher who will produce and distribute the publications and provide related services that are in the best interest of the SSUTA Governing Board.
Publishers are invited to submit a proposal according to the guidelines and information set forth below.
The SSUTA Documents, which are more fully described in section 1 of the Minimum Requirements below, are maintained by the Committee. Most of the SSUTA Documents are currently available on the web site of the SSUTA Governing Board, www.streamlinedsalestax.org. The SSUTA Governing Board intends to continue publishing some or all of the SSUTA Documents on its website for the foreseeable future.
The Committee does not currently intend to copyright the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA) itself, although it may do so at a later time. Third parties may use and reproduce the SSUTA without prior permission of the SSUTA Governing Board. The SSUTA Governing Board claims copyright ownership in the other SSUTA Documents, but it has not registered the copyrights with the United States Copyright Office. Third parties may use the other SSUTA Documents without prior permission, but only for educational and other purposes that conform to an attribution and use policy to be adopted by the SSUTA Governing Board. Permission will be required for third party use of the SSUTA Documents that do not conform to the policy.
The SSUTA Governing Board will likely meet between two and four times annually. Amendments to and interpretations of the SSUTA Documents can be made at any of the meetings.
Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board
C/o Scott Peterson
4205 Hillsboro Pike, STE 305
Nashville, TN 37215
Each publisher who intends to submit a proposal shall submit a written Notice of Intent to Propose to the Committee by the date shown in section 4 below (“Schedule”). Submission of a Notice is not a prerequisite to submission of a proposal, but publishers who submit a Notice shall be sent any amendments or addenda to the RFP that the Committee issues.
The sole method to amend this RFP is in writing signed by the Executive Director.
a. RFP Issue Date October 30, 2006 b. Pre-proposal Conference Nov. 13, 3:00 pm c. Closing date for Receipt of Written Questions November 17 d. Committee Response to Written Questions November 22 e. Closing Date for Receipt of Written Proposals December 1 f. Opening of Proposals December 4, 3:00 pm g. Execution of Contract December 18, 2006
The Committee reserves the right to revise the Schedule as it deems appropriate. All times listed in the schedule are Central Standard Time.
A pre-proposal conference will be held by teleconference on the date specified in the Schedule. The purpose of this conference is to clarify information in the RFP. Since impromptu questions will be permitted and answers provided, publishers should understand that the only official answer or position of the Committee is by written amendment signed by the Executive Director. Interested parties should contact the Executive Director for the telephone number and pass code for the conference call.
The cost of developing a proposal is solely the responsibility of the publisher. The Committee shall not provide reimbursement for any costs incurred in preparing or submitting a proposal.
Each proposal should be prepared simply and economically providing a straightforward, concise description of the publisher’s abilities to satisfy the requirements of the RFP. Emphasis should be on completeness and clarity of content.
The publisher shall submit a proposal by email and shall deliver an original and (4) copies of the proposal, each on a separate CD-ROM to the Executive Director, by the date and time specified on the Schedule, at the following location:
Scott Peterson, Executive Director
Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board
4205 Hillsboro Pike, STE 305
Nashville, TN 37215
Any proposals received after this date and time shall be returned to the publisher unopened. All written correspondence from a publisher required or allowed under this RFP should be delivered to this address.
The submission of a proposal constitutes acceptance of the terms, conditions, criteria, requirements, and evaluations set forth in the RFP and constitutes a waiver of any and all objections to the contents of the RFP.
Proposals will be opened by the Executive Director. At the time of the opening of the proposals, the Committee reserves the right to make public only basic information relating to the identity and address of the publishers.
After the proposal evaluation process has been completed and the Committee has selected a publisher with which to negotiate, the Committee shall notify the selected publisher. The Committee reserves the right to further negotiate all terms and conditions of the proposed Contract with the selected publisher.
Listed below are the minimum requirements considered essential to the publishing of the SSUTA Documents:
The publisher shall assume responsibility for the on-going publishing of the SSUTA Documents. The SSUTA Documents shall include, at a minimum, the SSUTA (the agreement as amended), the by-laws of the SSUTA Governing Board, and any procedural rules, interpretive rules, and interpretations adopted by the SSUTA Governing Board. The publisher must render and perform all services necessary for the preparation and publication of the SSUTA Documents, in all forms as further described below. Unless the proposal indicates otherwise, the publisher shall bear all editorial and publication costs, without any contribution, subsidy, or expense by the SSUTA Governing Board. The printing, binding, type font, and point size for the text of the sections shall be mutually agreed to by the Committee and the publisher.
At a minimum, the publisher shall include in all publications the following:
The SSUTA Governing Board shall designate the publication as the only Official Version of the SSUTA Documents. Persons wishing to access the Official Version of the SSUTA Documents will be directed to contact the publisher and the publisher shall provide copies of or access to the official version at published prices and in accordance with the terms of the Contract. Because the selected publisher will be publishing the Official Version of the SSUTA Documents, it is paramount that the publication be maintained accurately and up to date.
The selected publisher shall be granted non-exclusive rights to publish the SSUTA Documents during the term of the Contract. The SSUTA Governing Board reserves the right to publish or authorize the publication of unofficial versions of the SSUTA Documents at any time. The SSUTA Governing Board intends to continue publishing some or all of the SSUTA Documents on its website for the foreseeable future.
The publisher shall publish the SSUTA Documents within thirty (30) days of execution of the Contract and receipt of the documents from the Executive Director. The publisher shall provide the Executive Director with a copy of the SSUTA Documents for the purpose of checking and verification of corrections no later than ten (10) business days prior to publication.
The selected publisher shall agree to negotiate the transfer of any remaining book and CD-ROM inventory in good faith with a successor publisher, and shall provide, without charge, the mailing addresses, telephone numbers, and email addresses for all customers who have been shipped copies of the SSUTA Documents during the Contract term.
The Committee does not currently intend to copyright the SSUTA (the agreement as amended), although it may do so at a later time. Third parties may use and reproduce the SSUTA for any purpose without prior permission of the SSUTA Governing Board. The SSUTA Governing Board claims copyright ownership in the other SSUTA Documents, but it has not registered the copyrights with the United States Copyright Office. Third parties may use the other SSUTA Documents without prior permission, but only for educational and other purposes that conform to an attribution and use policy to be adopted by the SSUTA Governing Board. Permission will be required for third party use of the SSUTA Documents that do not conform to the policy.
In each published version of the SSUTA Documents, the publisher shall include the attribution and use policy of the SSUTA Governing Board on the copyright notice page or in another suitable location as agreed to by the Committee or Executive Director.
The publisher may copyright, in its own name, enhanced versions of the publications of the SSUTA Documents in accordance with the terms of the Contract between the publisher and the SSUTA Governing Board.
The publisher shall:
If the publisher maintains a searchable database, the publisher shall make the SSUTA Documents available to subscribers in accordance with the standard practices of the publisher for documents of a similar type. Any such database shall publish the SSUTA Documents in their most current form, and the publisher shall make its best efforts to update the database within a reasonable time after receiving updates from the Executive Director.
The publisher shall enter into a Contract with the SSUTA Governing Board that includes the publisher’s agreement to protect, indemnify, save and hold harmless the SSUTA Governing Board, as well as all of its officers, directors, agents, servants, and employees, from any and all claims, demands, expenses, and liability, and from any and all costs, expenses, and attorney’s fees (including costs of work done by the SSUTA Governing Board’s attorneys) incurred as a result of any errors in publishing the SSUTA Documents or the publisher’s failure to comply with the terms of the Contract.
Corporations and other organizations submitting a proposal must be fully qualified to do business in the State of Indiana and be in good standing under the laws of their state of organization.
Publishers are requested to submit proposals or statements as indicated below:
The publisher shall indicate the publisher’s acceptance of or agreement to each of the minimum requirements listed in this RFP. If the publisher wishes to propose an alternative to any of the minimum requirements, the alternative must be clearly marked as an alternative or an exception to the requirement.
The publisher shall propose a plan for updating the SSUTA Documents. The publisher shall submit a memorandum or style sheet indicating which style instructions will govern editing of the SSUTA Documents. All proposals on style or revisions to the SSUTA Documents will be subject to approval of the Committee.
The publisher shall include in the proposal, in a separate, sealed envelop, the suggested retail prices (or range of prices) for the SSUTA Documents, and any associated publications. This shall include prices for book copies, CD-ROM versions, and other forms of publication. If the publisher maintains a searchable database, the publisher shall describe how subscribers may access the SSUTA Documents and the price (or range of prices) that would be charged to subscribers for access and searching.
The publisher shall include a statement of practices and procedures to be followed in handling the problems and complaints of subscribers concerning any aspect of the publication, sale, editorial content, or indexing of the SSUTA Documents and for reporting to the Committee on these matters.
The publisher shall include a statement of its practices and procedures for handling requests from authors for publishing portions of the SSUTA Documents in other publications.
The publisher shall include a copy of any proposed user’s guide or similar document as a sample for the Committee to review in assessing how users will interface with the SSUTA Documents in CD-ROM, book, and database form.
The publisher shall indicate any marketing, lobbying, consulting, or other contracts or agreements for service entered into by the publisher with any person not an employee of the publisher to secure or to assist in securing this contract to publish the SSUTA Documents, and identify these persons.
The publisher shall submit qualifications in resume form of the principal editorial staff member who will be assigned to the publication of the SSUTA Documents and the number, qualifications, and experience of other editorial personnel to be so assigned. The resumes shall state the education, position in the firm, years and types of experience and the knowledge of sales tax law possessed by the principal editorial staff members. If the editorial staff members will not be devoting a major portion of the time (fifty percent (50%) or more) to this project, their other responsibilities shall be indicated.
The Committee will consider suggestions for alternative approaches or additional services in excess of the requirements specified in this RFP.
The following factors will be considered in judging all proposals:
Ability to perform the minimum requirements, including editing, production, and distribution of books, CD-ROMs, and databases containing the SSUTA Documents.
Experience of the publisher in producing and distributing similar publications, and coordinating editorial service with a commission or body similar to the SSUTA Governing Board.
Reputation and experience regarding variances from original contracted specifications in producing publications and services within contractual time requirements, and editorial and production capacity of the publisher to handle amendments and interpretations within specified time periods.
Degree of compliance with minimum requirements and number or type of exceptions therefrom.
Services, products, publications, or proposals offered by publisher to the Committee in excess of the minimum requirements and without impact on SSUTA Document pricing.
Initial prices, proposed mechanisms for revising prices, price experiences with other state government publishing, and price stability as evidenced in ratios of current price to original contracted price.
Degree to which the publisher is willing to provide copies of the SSUTA Documents (in book and CD-ROM form), and access to searchable databases, to the SSUTA Governing Board and the state governments that participate in the Streamlined Sales Tax Project at no charge or at discounted rates.
Cost (direct and indirect) to the SSUTA Governing Board, the Committee and other personnel of performing the Contract and the services described in the RFP.
The publisher’s resources, skills, and professional ability to perform the services required.