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RFP : A2J Community Legal Aid


Our friends over at Community Legal Aid are looking for proposals for creating a mobile friendly A2J guided interview. If this sounds like you or someone you know please give this RPF a read and pass it along.


Community Legal Aid


A2J Author Guided Intake Interview

Community Legal Aid (CLA) is initiating this Request for Proposals (RFP) to solicit responses from qualified  vendors interested in providing A2J Author (A2J)  programming services as CLA converts its current Drupal-based on-line application into a mobile-friendly A2J Author guided interview that will be integrated with CLA’s case management system.   The scope of work will also include replicating the guided A2J interview in Spanish.



1.1. Purpose:  

 CLA is initiating this RFP to solicit responses from qualified vendors interesting in assisting CLA in  enhancing the accessibility and efficiency of its intake system by creating a guided, mobile-technology-friendly on-line application in both English and Spanish that is integrated with the program’s case management system.  This project is being undertaken with funding from the Legal Services Corporation through its Technology Initiative Grant (TIG) program.

CLA seeks to deploy the latest version of A2J Author to create a guided interview that essentially replicates the conversation that occurs when an applicant applies by telephone.   This will replace a static on-line application form that currently is available through CLA’s website,  By using a guided interview, CLA expects it will be able to more efficiently and accurately identify applicants whose cases fall within CLA’s priorities.   Because the A2J interview will automate the triage role that screening plays in the intake process,  the on-line system  will also include in the interview a mechanism to re-direct inappropriate applicants to other resources, such as the Massachusetts Legal Resource Finder, through which applicants can locate, where available, precise self-help resources or other sources of legal help.   The on-line system will also include a mechanism for collecting data on all applicants to help ensure that the system is triaging applicants correctly.    By using the latest version of A2J Author, the interview will have a responsive design which will improve the quality of access to the on-line application through a mobile telephone.  The answers collected by the A2J interview will then be integrated directly into CLA’s case management system, ProLaw. 

1.2. Goal:

CLA’s goal is to enhance the accessibility and efficiency of its intake system by creating a mobile, technology-friendly on-line application in both English and Spanish that is integrated with its case management system (hereafter, “On-line Application Module”).   This will be accomplished by creating guided interviews in English and Spanish using A2J that will allow applicants to more readily determine if they are eligible for legal assistance at CLA.  The On-Line Application Module will deploy the latest version of A2J Author which has mobile technology enhancements so that applicants can more easily apply for legal services through their smart phones.


1.3. Services Required:

The On-Line Application Module  is to meet all of the mandatory requirements listed in Exhibit A.

1.4 Timeline for Completion:

The On-Line Application Module  is to be completed by June 30, 2017.

1.5          Payment:

Payment will be made in two installments contingent upon completion of  applicable milestones set forth in CLA’s TIG Payment Schedule. The first  payment will be made on or about December 31, 2016 upon satisfactory completion of the first tier of A2J programming and testing described  in Exhibit A.  The second and final payment will be made on or about June 30, 2017 upon the satisfactory completion of the second tier of programming and testing described  in Exhibit A.



2.1.    RFP Coordinator:

Upon release of this RFP, all vendor communications concerning this acquisition must be directed to the RFP Coordinator listed below. Any oral communications will be considered unofficial and non­binding on CLA. Only written statements issued by the RFP Coordinator may be relied upon.

Gordon Shaw, Director of Client Access/RFP Coordinator

Community Legal Aid

20 Hampton Ave

Northampton, MA 01060


Telephone: 413-727-7104


2.2.    RFP Schedule:

RFP released - May 1, 2016

Responses due not later than 8 pm EST - June 15, 2016

Evaluation Period - June 30, 2016

Successful vendor announced - June 30, 2016

Contract signed and work commences -  no later than July 31, 2016


2.3.    Vendor Questions:

 Vendors may contact the RFP Coordinator at the address and/or numbers listed in Subsection 2.1 above with any questions concerning this RFP. All questions must be received prior to the response due date and time listed in Subsection 2.2 above. Written questions are preferred and should be submitted by e­mail to ensure receipt and timely response.

2.4. Response Format:

The proposal must be sent electronically via e­mail in Microsoft Word 97 or newer version, RTF, or Adobe PDF format to the RFP Coordinator designated in Section 2.1 of this RFP. The e­mail subject should be clearly marked “On-Line Application Module TIG”.

The proposal must be received no later than 8:00 p.m., EST on the date specified in section 2.2 of this RFP.

Vendors should allow enough electronic delivery time to ensure timely receipt of their proposals by the RFP Coordinator. Vendors assume the risk for any e­mail delay problems.

Proposals that exceed 20 pages in length and late proposals will not be accepted.

2.5. Response Requirements and Content:


Vendors must respond to each question/requirement contained in Exhibit A, Vendor Response. In preparing their response, vendors should restate each requirement and then give their response.


2.6. Response Date and Location:


The vendor's response, in its entirety, must be received by the RFP Coordinator  at the email address specified in Section 2.1 in accordance with the schedule contained in Subsection 2.2 above. Late responses will not be accepted and will be automatically disqualified from further consideration.


2.7. Costs of Preparing Responses:

CLA will not pay any vendor costs associated with preparing proposals submitted in response to this RFP.

2.8. Responses Property of CLA:

All responses, accompanying documentation and other materials submitted in response to this RFP shall become the property of CLA and will not be returned.


2.9. Proprietary Information/Public Disclosure:

All responses received shall remain confidential until the evaluation is completed and the vendor is selected and approved. Thereafter responses shall be deemed public records.


2.10. RFP Amendments/Cancellation/Reissue/Reopen:

CLA reserves the right to change the RFP Schedule or issue amendments to this RFP at any time. CLA also reserves the right to cancel or reissue the RFP. All such actions will be posted on CLA’s website.


2.11. Minor Administrative Irregularities:

CLA reserves the right to waive minor administrative irregularities contained in any response.

2.12. Inability to Enter Contract:

CLA reserves the right to eliminate from further consideration any vendor that CLA, because of legal or other considerations, is unable to contract with at the time responses are due in accordance with the schedule contained in Subsection 2.2 above.


2.13. No Obligation to Enter Into a Contract:

The release of this RFP does not compel CLA to enter into any contract.

CLA reserves the right to refrain from contracting with any vendor that has responded to this RFP whether or not the vendor's response has been evaluated and whether or not the vendor has been determined to be qualified. Exercise of this reserved right does not affect CLA’s right to contract with any other vendor.

CLA reserves the right to request an interview with any vendor and/or a demonstration from any vendor prior to entering into a contract with that vendor. If a vendor declines the request for an interview or demonstration for any reason, the vendor may be eliminated from further consideration.


2.14. Multiple Contracts:

CLA reserves the right to enter into contracts with more than one vendor as a result of this RFP.

2.15. Non­-Endorsement:

The selection of a vendor pursuant to this RFP does not constitute an endorsement of the vendor's services. The vendor agrees to make no reference to CLA in any literature, promotional material, brochures, sales presentations, or the like without the express written consent of CLA.


2.16. Contract Payment Limitations:

Vendors should anticipate payment at the end rather than the beginning of the invoice period in which they provide services or after they submit any deliverable for which a payment is due.


CLA’s Evaluation Team (Team), comprised  of at least two (2) persons, will evaluate the responses to this RFP. The Team may also consider past contract performance and check references beyond those listed in the vendor’s response.

As part of the evaluation process, at the discretion of the Team, vendors may be asked to clarify specific points in their response. However, under no circumstances will the vendor be allowed to make changes to the response.



4.1. Notification of Selection of Apparently Successful Vendor:

Vendors whose responses have not been selected for further negotiations or award will be notified via e­mail.


4.2. Contract Award/General Terms and Conditions:

Vendors selected to provide application services will be required to enter into a contract with CLA.

Community Legal Aid


A2J Author On-line Application Module


Responses must contain the following information in the following format. Please number your responses to correspond with the information requested here.

  1. Vendor’s name, address, telephone number, fax number, federal tax identification number or Social Security Number (SSN), Uniform Business Identifier (UBI) number, and a description of the vendor’s legal status, e.g., corporation, sole proprietor, etc.
  2. Vendor contact’s name, telephone number, fax number and email.
  3. A statement that guarantees that the response constitutes a firm offer valid for sixty (60) days following receipt and that CLA may accept the offer any time within the 60 ­day period.
  4. A statement on whether the vendor or any employee of the vendor is related by blood or marriage to a CLA employee or resides with a CLA employee. If there are such relationships, list the names and relationships of said parties. Include the position and responsibilities within the vendor's organization of such vendor employees.
  5. State whether the vendor has been a party in any litigation during the past five (5) years. Allsuch incidents except employment-related cases must be described, including the other party’s' name, address, and telephone number. Present the vendor's position on the matter.
  6. Provide two (2) references for programs for other automated documents you have completed. Please include a phone number or e­mail address of the referenced individual so he/she may be contacted.
  7. Scope of Work and Your Cost.  All programming will involve using forms, scripts and interviews as drafted by CLA and will include placing the completed interviews on a server designated by CLA.   Interviews will be completed using A2J Author Software, v. 5.   The vendor will also be responsible for creating output files that will collect the data captured by the interview in an XML format or in a format which can then be imported into CLA’s case management system.    Vendor should also be able to develop a mechanism for collecting data on all applicants to help ensure that the system is triaging applicants correctly.

CLA is seeking to build up to 12 substantive law applications that we will be accessed through a single seamless point of entry.   The areas of law are as follows:  Family, Housing, Wills and Other Advance Directives, Social Security and Disability, Government Benefits, Bankruptcy, Health Care Benefits, Immigration, Employment, Utilities, Education and Special Partner Agency Referrals. Each will be prefaced by a set of standard introductory and eligibility questions.  Pursuant to CLA’s current approved TIG milestone timeline, the English version of this A2J On-Line Intake Module is to be operational  by December 31, 2016  (First Tier), and its Spanish version, along with all revisions following beta testing  and  consumer feedback, must be completed by June 30, 2017 (Second Tier).

  1. Please state your cost for completing this work.