December 23, 2013
We have submitted an intent to bid and would like to comment on the CAT NMS Plan Processor Evaluation and Selection Plan. We would like to clarify the intent of certain sections in the plan and stress their importance for a fair and transparent process.
COMMENT #1 VOTING RESTRICTIONS: We believe Sections V.B.2. and V.B.3. of the proposed plan were intended to mitigate conflicts of interest for Bidding Parties in key votes at different stages. In addition to the scenarios below, we believe Bidding Participants should not be allowed to vote in the first round of voting. In the interest of fairness and selecting the best proposal, we feel it is imperative that these restrictions are part of the final plan.
V.B.2. No Bidding Participant shall vote on whether a Shortlisted Bidder will be permitted to revise its Bid pursuant to Section VI(D)(1) below if a Bid submitted by or including the Participant or an Affiliate of the Participant is a Shortlisted Bid.
V.B.3. No Bidding Participant shall vote in the second round set forth in Section VI(E)(4) below if a Bid submitted by or including the Participant or an Affiliate of the Participant is part of the second round.
COMMENT #2 RFP DUE DATE: Section C of the Cover Letter to the Selection Plan contemplates giving Bidders four weeks to submit their Bids after the Plan is approved. We feel this is an important step to minimize any disadvantage Bidders may have due to information asymmetry- Bidding Participants are likely to have information about the final selection process and associated timeline for approval before its made publicly available. Bidders must be given adequate time to modify their responses after reviewing changes to the final selection process. While four weeks seemed reasonable when we expected the process to move forward in a timely fashion, we suggest a longer period of 12 weeks given the substantial delay (~6 months). Bidders need additional time to reengage subcontractors and product / service providers, as well as update prices for technology components.
C. Implementation of Plan: The terms of the Plan will be operative immediately upon approval of the Plan by the Commission. The Participants have announced that Bids must be submitted four weeks after the Commission's approval of the Plan. The Participants will begin reviewing and evaluating the Bids pursuant to Section VI of the Plan upon receipt of the Bids.