Tips on Preparing Your Technical Specifications for the RFQ Process

1. See also the instructions in the Serials supplement to the FEDLINK Member Handbook regarding how to format your list of serial titles. The most important points to remember are:

2. Indicate pricing terms on the Intent to Compete Serials form (Transfer Pay), or, for Direct Pay, on the RFQ. Estimated price with firm fixed service fee is the standard and is highly recommended. Firm fixed funding is an option, but requires recompeting each year and, it is believed, costs the government more than the standard pricing option. For more information on pricing terms, consult the Serials supplement to the FEDLINK Member Handbook. It also contains a sample CBD notice and samples of RFQ forms, so that Direct Pay customers can see text used by LC C&L for Transfer Pay RFQs.

Most libraries can stop here.

3. Do not re-compete standard terms of the FEDLINK agreements. This negates the streamlining advantages and wastes everyone's time. All vendors selected to participate in the FEDLINK program have agreed to and been found able to perform all requirements listed in Lot 1 of the Statement of Work (SOW). Tips:

4. Optional Services must be described in your technical specs. They are listed in Lot 2 of the SOW, beginning on Page C-15. Read the descriptions in Lot 2 carefully, noting where you would need to clarify your local requirement.

5. Lot 3 provides for specialized electronic access to publications, such as access to electronic journals. Subscriptions to journals which are published electronically are routinely provided under Lot 1; Lot 3 relates to vendors who have interfaces to particular e-journals, and/or who may provide software or systems to help you manage electronic subscriptions, passwords, etc. At this time, you cannot base competition solely on these services. The world of electronic publishing is changing too rapidly, and still provides access to too limited a range of publications, to use it as the basis for choosing an agent to provide the majority of your serial publications, which will continue for some time to be published and received on paper. Furthermore, at this time no one source or commercial vendor interface provides access to the majority of the journals available electronically. You are allowed to use a vendor's interface, software or system if they provide such a service, without it having been part of the competitive criteria. If you are heavily invested in assistance with electronic journal access, you may include it with other requirements.

6. Evaluation criteria may be pass/fail or weighted. Pass/fail is simpler and works for most situations, e.g. when you simply want to alert the vendor that you will need them to interface with your (specified) local system, or that you will need reports for collection development purposes sorted in a particular way, or other factors described in items 2 and 3, above. Weighted evaluation criteria are used with the RFQ more infrequently, for exceptional situations such as when past performance is being evaluated. Weighting evaluation criteria makes the RFQ process longer, so you must allow sufficient time both for the vendor to respond and for the evaluation and review process. Please consult with FEDLINK serials specialists (202-707-4832 or [email protected]) or LC/C&L's serials contract administrator before using weighted evaluation criteria.