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Request for Applications - Climate Adaptation Planning

The District Department of the Environment (“DDOE”) is seeking nonprofit organizations or educational institutions to provide the District of Columbia with an analysis of climate change impacts, an assessment of the District's vulnerabilities to climate change, and adaptation planning to make the District more prepared for and resilient to climate change impacts.

The full text of this Request for Applications (RFA), and the required attachments are available as links at the bottom of this page. Additionally, a person may obtain a copy of this RFA by any of the following methods:

- Email a request to [email protected]  with “Request copy of RFA 2013-9-OPS” in the subject line;

- In person by making an appointment to pick up a copy from DDOE's offices at the 5th floor reception desk at the following street address (call Latonia Tabb at (202) 645-5664 and mention this RFA by name); or

- Write DDOE at 1200 First Street, N.E., 5th Floor, Washington, DC 20002, “Attn: Request copy of RFA 2013-9-OPS” on the outside of the letter.

The deadline for application submissions is 9/13/2013, at 4:30 p.m.  Five hard copies must be submitted to the above address and a complete electronic copy must be e-mailed to [email protected].

Period of Awards: The end date for the work of this grant program will be 9/30/2014.

Available Funding:

The total amount available for this RFA is approximately $200,000.00.

Questions & Answers:

Q: Our non-profit does not have a Certificate of Good Standing with the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, but we do have one in the state where we are incorporated.  Would the letter from the state where we are incorporated be sufficient in addressing the requirement?
A: Non-profit organizations that are not located in the District of Columbia can submit an up to date Certificate of Good Standing from the state where they are incorporated; however, they would also have to register with the District’s Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing.  A Certificate of Good Standing can be obtained from DCRA in person or online. For more information, please visit dcra - get certificate good standing.
Q: What is included in the 15 page limit? Is the budget narrative and the applicant description part of the page limit?
A: The project description is provided in Section 3 of the RFA, including sections a), b) and c). The project description should include a narrative for each applicable part listed in that section. Additional attachments or information, such as the budget table or resumes for example, are not counted in the page limit.
Q: Are meeting spaces for the project included or will the awardee need to provide space?
A: The District Department of the Environment (or other agencies) will be able to provide meeting space and conference call services as needed. Key personnel are also available to support the project, including logistics related to meeting planning and facilitation.
Q: In reference to the list of deliverables in the project description, does the project management team expect new spatial analyses or a narrative analysis of the District’s vulnerabilities to climate change impacts?
A: Much of this data and analysis is already available and needs to be compiled and synthesized. The project management team does not expect much new spatial analysis would be needed to develop an adaptation plan. The District also has considerable GIS data available for the project.  If an applicant believes there are data gaps or additional spatial analysis that will be required, they are free to make this recommendation as part of the application.
Q: Would you want the applicant to use existing data or to produce new analyses?
A: The applicant is expected to use existing data and data analyses from reputable sources for many project needs and to support the vulnerability and adaptation planning to be conducted under this grant. Some gaps in existing data may be identified and the project team will decide whether to fill those gaps in this project or request additional assistance in answering specific questions.
Q: What is the timeline to award the grant and to start the project?
A: Applications are due on September 13, 2013 no later than 4:30pm.  The review process will start quickly thereafter. It is expected that the application will be awarded within one to two months from the closing date and that the project will be started by mid-November, if not sooner.
Q: If a non-profit engages with a for-profit company, is there any restriction on the for-profits fee-schedule?
A: The agreement between the non-profit and for-profit partners is up to them. There is no restriction from the part of the District government on how fees among partners are managed.
Q: If there are subsequent phases to the project, would that go out as a separate RFA or would it be an amendment to the original phase?
A:  The decision to amend an award versus the solicitation of an RFA depends on the scope and cost of the project of the tasks identified.   If a subsequent phase of the project requires extensive additional analysis or planning, the department may need to issue an additional RFA.
Q: Does this mean the primary recipient needs to be a non-profit organization?
A: The organization applying for the award must comply with the eligibility requirements.
Q: If there is a data gap, would the project be able to incorporate the additional analysis that was needed?
A: If a large data gap needs to be filled, an additional request for services may be needed, pending the availability of project funding.
Q: What is envisioned as the final product? Is something similar to Sustainable DC expected as the final product?
A: The final product does not have to be similar to the Sustainable DC Plan with respect to formatting or printer ready design. The final product is expected to be the substance and content of an adaptation plan, not necessarily a glossy, designed handout.
Q: What is meant by the draft, copy and final draft of final outcomes?
A: The draft, pre-final draft and final drafts are products designed to engage discussion and communication between the awardee and the project management team.  The draft or pre-final draft will also be used to engage discussion with the stakeholder advisory group and the public.
Q: If a public state institution is not able to agree to all of the terms and conditions in the PCA.  Will DDOE consider or allow exceptions to the terms in this document to be made at the time of submission?
A: In such case, the institution will be required to provide a letter that explains their position to any term or condition in objection to the terms of the PCA. The letter will be reviewed by the District’s general counsel to determine the applicability.  
Q: Are weekly meetings in person, and  what is the criteria for meeting with the project management team?
A: Weekly meetings with the project team will be conducted over the phone and in person.  The awardee and the project management team will coordinate the meeting schedule throughout the project period.
Q: Are there requirements for how much work the awardee and their partners need to do? For example, does the recipient need to do 51% of the work and the partner 49% to fulfill the grant requirement?
A: There is no requirement from the District government on what percentage of the work is accomplished by the awardee or their partners.
Q: Are there likely to be interviews for awarding the applicant?
A: The District may elect to interview all applicants prior to the award decision.
Q: How much do you expect public outreach to be part of this project and that the applicant will be provide?
A: Public outreach will be done by the government and the project does not require that the applicant organize or host the public meetings; arrangements will be made by the District government project management team. The awardee will assist in the development of materials to be used in public meetings and would be expected to have representation at an agreed-upon number of advisory group and public meetings.
Can you please identify what is included in the project description (e.g., project summary, detailed description, applicant/personnel/experience/partners)? Is the detailed budget excluded from the page limit?
A: Requirements for the project description are identified in Section 3 of the RFA which includes the budget narrative.  Attachments, such as budget tables, resumes or other forms are not included in this page limit.
Q: Will there be a conference line for those who are unable to attend the pre-application conference on August 27 in person?”
A: Yes, the dial-in number is 1-877-784-3995, the participant code is 3127831.
Q: The announcement calls for submitting five paper copies and by email. Can we only submit by email? Why the paper copies?
A:  All applicants must follow the instructions outlined in the RFA. Therefore, five paper copies must be submitted, in addition to an email copy, in order to be considered for an award. The applications will be reviewed by an independent panel. Each panel member will receive a hard copy of the application for their review.
Q:  Are for-profit businesses eligible for this grant? For example, is a consulting firm with significant climate change experience and eligible organization?
A:  Eligible entities for the grant are non-profit organizations and educational institutions. However, these entities can choose to partner or subcontract with any organization (both non-profit and for-profit) in order to achieve the goals laid out in the RFA.
Q: Can you please clarify the page limit for the application? Is the complete application limited to 15 double-spaced pages or does the page limit only apply to the description of the project requested under section (b)? Does the page limit include resumes for key staff?
A: The page limit applies only to the project description. Attachments such as resumes or other forms are not included in this page limit.

For additional information regarding this RFA, please contact DDOE as instructed in the RFA document, or after reviewing the document, at [email protected]