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Pre-Bid Question and Answers

Pre-Bid Question and Answers

S.No.RFP Page No. / Para: reference Clarification required:Answers
1.P-3Is 3 references to be submitted with the Profile?References are to be given with the organization profile as required under Pre-verification Para I.1.
2.P-3-Note 2Is Declaration – annexure F to be submitted with the Profile?Declaration Annexure F is to be provided along with the Technical bid document.
3.P-3-II-2 (Also 44-XXI.26.)Is this bid for Visa support services only in Kabul or additional Centers in Consulates to be provided?RFP is only for Kabul
4.P-7 g (also p-23 b.)Is personnel proposed to be hired their Names /CVs –full details are to be provided with the Bid/ in the RFP or it can be submitted after winning the contract & before signing the contract? However positions & their structure will be provided in the RFP.

Please refer to Mandatory Criteria Para V.7.g. The bidding company must provide documentation to show that it has personnel of adequate qualifications for key positions in the IVAC. The details of the proposed key personnel and their experience record must be provided.

5.P-8 m (also p-24 k.)ISO certifications like ISO-9001-2008 & ISO-27001-2013 is not possible to get in the short time as no Afghan companies have ISO certification. Can this be provided after winning the contract within 3 months of signing the contract? Otherwise it will be discrimination to the Afghan Companies.Please refer to Mandatory Criteria under IV.8.m.

The Bidding Company should have ISO-9001-2008(or equivalent) certification for quality management and ISO-27001-2013(or equivalent) certification for IT related services and ISO 23026-2015(or equivalent) for website quality certification.

ISO 23026-2015(or equivalent) for website quality certification can be submitted to the Mission within three months from the date of award of Contract.
6.P-8 o 9 also p-38 21-1)gCan Bid Security Deposit be in the form of Bank draft/ Cash order/ Bankers Cheque from Banks in Afghanistan and it should be in favor of whom?Please refer to Mandatory Criteria Para V.8.o. The bid security of USD 50,000/- can be provided as Bank Draft / Bankers Cheque from banks in Afghanistan and it should be in favour of Embassy of India, Kabul.
7.P-11 cUNCPI- UN Consumer Price index of Afghanistan is not available? Please guide.If UNCPI-UN Consumer Price Index for Afghanistan is not available then in the Technical Bid it may be mentioned so.
8.P-18 g-iii)Biometric & Facial enrolment Hardware specification should be provided?Please refer to Annexure B detailing Technical specifications with regard to Hardware for Biometrics enrollment.
9.P-20-21 X.13.a-cBank guarantee proforma/ format only one  provided but not for other Guarantees  as per 13.a & c.Please refer to Annexure H – Bank Guarantee. Same format may be used for execution of all Bank Guarantees as per RFP.
10.P-22 c.Minimum Graduate qualification be clarified? Is it 12th pass graduates (10+2) or Degree holder graduates (10+2+3)?Bachelor Degree i.e. 10+2+3
11.P-29 k.Pre Bid conference; for attending the same- Is details of 2 representatives be sent to whom to get the invitation or what is the procedure & where to attend?Pre-bid conference would be held at the Embassy of India, New Chancery, Near German Embassy, Wazir Akbar Khan, Kabul on March 3, 2015 at 10 a.m.
12.P-37 e.iCan as additional services may add Air ticketing facility?Details of the permitted Value Added Services in IVAC been mentioned under Para XI.14 of the RFP.
13.P-65 annexure D –III-2.Number of Centres to be specified by the Mission. Please inform the Number of Centres& in which cities besides Kabul.Please refer to Corrigendum issued on February 25, 2016 to the RFP for Outsourcing of Visa Services dated February 23, 2016.

http://eoi.gov.in/kabul/?4709?000
14.P-65 annexure D –III-3.Size of the Centres- area & layout to be specified by the Mission. Please inform the Size of the Centres- area & layout.Please refer to Corrigendum issued on February 25, 2016 to the RFP for Outsourcing of Visa Services dated February 23, 2016.

http://eoi.gov.in/kabul/?4709?000
15.P-65 annexure D –III-4.Number of Staff specifying the work to be handled -to be specified by the Mission. Please inform the staff requirements per Centre & expected Visa applications at each Centre.Please refer to Corrigendum issued on February 25, 2016 to the RFP for Outsourcing of Visa Services dated February 23, 2016.

http://eoi.gov.in/kabul/?4709?000
16.P-65 annexure D –III-5.Number of counters specifying the work to be handled - to be specified by the Mission. Please inform the same.Please refer to Corrigendum issued on February 25, 2016 to the RFP for Outsourcing of Visa Services dated February 23, 2016.

http://eoi.gov.in/kabul/?4709?000
17.P-57 Section A eLocal Zoning Regulations be provided?Please refer to Corrigendum issued on February 25, 2016 to the RFP for Outsourcing of Visa Services dated February 23, 2016 – Annexure D.III.1 – Location of the service Centre should be in a reputed area with convenient accessibility and proximity to the Mission i.e. within 5 kms radius. The Centre must be permissible under local zoning laws and in a secure area.

http://eoi.gov.in/kabul/?4709?000
18. Can Travel Company will be bidder with turnover prescribed but net worth will be counted of the Parent CompanyPlease refer to Eligibility Conditions under Para IV.6.iii & iv – Bidding company should have a minimum net worth equivalent of USD 5 million and the average turnover of the bidding company should be at least USD 5,00,000/-
19 

Local partner company does

not have the mandatory criteria of doing a minimum number of

applications. 
With regard to eligibility criterion attention is invited to RFP published on 23.02.16 Para IV.6 especially IV.6.i and mandatory criteria given under Para V especially Sub-Para V.8.a.
20. The number of security guards mentioned in the corrigendum for the centre are 10 nos. Would this need to be armed security guards?Security Guards deployed should be armed.
21. What will be the roll out date for L1?Date for commencement of operation by new IVAC is June 1, 2016.
22. What is the expected date for the Technical & Financial results?

Tentative date for announcement of Technical bid result is April 3, 2016.

Tentative date for announcement of financial bid result is April 9, 2016.
23. Across all countries there is a huge requirement for express visa’s. This is communicated by the customers itself. Such services need to be approved at the time of the tendering process. Will express visa’s be serviced by the partner?Emergency visa services such as medical emergency visa services would be handled directly by the Embassy. Permitted value added services at IVAC is mentioned at Para XI.14.a of the RFP published on February 23, 2016.
24. Quite a few high profile customers walk in at the IVAC for biometric enrollment. Such applicants need special treatment and services. Which has a cost involved. Will the lounge services be allowed?No lounge services permitted at IVAC. Permitted value added services mentioned at Para XI.14.a of the RFP
25. Please provide us the volume split month wise for last three years.
Month2013201420152016
Jan1036998021019110, 685
Feb743791758578-
Mar538273547415-
Apr537856205704-
May482053805446-
June454951495406-
July504351585517-
Aug426257206284-
Sept533669525473-
Oct499362257474-
Nov463070987316-
Dec947695919265-
26. What will be the servicing hours?8 am to 6 pm.
27. What is the percentage of applicants submitted by the Travel Agents?Currently applications are NOT accepted from any travel agents. Ordinarily applicants are required to submit applications themselves in-person at the visa centre as of now. 
28. How many travel agents are registered and authorized by the Mission? Please provide list.No travel agents are registered and authorized by the Mission to accept visa applications. The authorized visa outsourcing agency for the Mission currently is M/s Shahir Travel Agency which operates the IVAC.
30. As mentioned in the RFP, will biometrics be introduced? Will this be for all categories of visas and passports?Yes, biometrics would be introduced for all categories of visa and passports. However, exemption, if any, would be decided by the Mission in due course.
31. In case of a security incident or a threat will the Embassy pre-intimate the partner? What will be the steps and measures which would need to be taken in such cases.It is the responsibility of the service provider to secure the premises of IVAC and to look after the security of IVAC personnel/ vehicles. For this they may put in place adequate physical and electronic security measures, and also should deploy required number of trained armed security guards.  In case any specific information regarding security threat against IVAC or its personnel or its vehicle is available with the Mission, it would be shared immediately with the service provider. On receipt of any security threat to IVAC/ IVAC Vehicles or its personnel, service provider may adopt necessary measures in consultation with local security agencies and local government authorities.


 

RFP PageQuote from RFPQuestion/ ClarificationsAnswer to the query
1Schedule for the RFP processWhat is the Contract Signing expected to happen, and when is the new service provider expected to start the operations?Contract signing is expected to happen by April 24, 2016 and the new service provider expected to start operation by June 1, 2016.
2Scope of ServicesPage 3, INTRODUCTION- Point ii(2) Talks about scope as Visa support Services only

Lot of Indian missions have included all the CPV services like Passports and other Consular Services in the recent outsourcing tenders. Please confirm that these additional services are also part of the scope
No. The current outsourcing tender process is only for visa services. Consular, passport and other services are not part of it.
3Scope of Services...ContdIf the scope of services includes the passport and consular services; please provide monthly count of such services for the last THREE years.Not applicable.
4Monthly Visa NumbersPlease provide MONTHLY COUNT of Visas issued by the Embassy in Brussels for the last THREE Years. This will help us understanding the seasonal trends; and planning thereof.
Month2013201420152016
Jan1036998021019110, 685
Feb743791758578-
Mar538273547415-
Apr537856205704-
May482053805446-
June454951495406-
July504351585517-
Aug426257206284-
Sept533669525473-
Oct499362257474-
Nov463070987316-
Dec947695919265 
5Corrigendum-No of Security Personal RequiredDoes the Embassy Envisage security personal with Arms?Yes, trained armed security guards are required.
6Location of the VAC in KabulKabul being a sensitive location; there might not be many readily available office locations within 5 Km radius of the embassy. We would need to know if embassy is flexible in the looking at a VAC location outside of 5 KM radius also.Embassy is aware of multiple good locations within 5 km radius of the Embassy, which are reputed. Finalisation of the location of IVAC is to be done only with the concurrence of the Embassy.
7WebsitePlease confirm the languages in which VAC website should be made available to the public.English, Dari and Pashto.
8Travel Agent/Post Numbers

What percentage of applications is currently received through Post in all the Three VAC’s currently?

What percentage of applications is received by the travel Agents in all the Three VAC’s currently?

Not applicable as currently application are not accepted from any travel agents / through post.
9Transition

There is no mention of the word transition in the entire document.

Failure on the part of the incumbent service provider has not been addressed at all in the RFP.

Detailed information is solicited as far as transition is concerned to ensure that a process is defined to ensure accountability.

Below is a sample of questions that need clarification:

  1. When will the incumbent service provider end accepting applications?
  2. When will the contact centre of the incumbent service provider discontinue its operations?
  3. Will the applications that were processed by incumbent be handled?
  4. How will the handover of the unprocessed applications, courier labels, passports, etc. be implemented?
  5. Will the new service provider charge their service fee for handling applications handed over by incumbent service provider?

 

Due to poor transition, there are disastrous consequences and can cause major inconvenience to the applicant community & reputation of the Indian Mission abroad.
The formal launching of visa outsourcing services by new service provider is scheduled for June 1, 2016. A reasonable overlapping time period would be provided for smooth transition of visa services from the existing servicing provider to new incoming service provider.
10The Service Provider should provide an efficient and courteous telephonic enquiry system through Toll free numbers/ Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP). The Service Provider can charge normal call charges after five minutes. Special higher call charges are not permitted. No caller should be made to wait for more than eight minutes and waiting time should not be chargeable. The telephonic enquiries should be attended from 9AM to 7PM on all working days and an automatic answering system should be functional outside the above period including holidays.Kindly provide the details on number of calls and emails received from the applicants at the current service centres.

RFP states the call centre time to be 9 AM to 7 PM on all working days. We request the Embassy to consider a time period of 9 AM to 4 PM to coincide with the IVAC working hours and also taking into account any possible staff security issues arising out the time taken by staff to reach home in the night.
No ready data is available with regard to number of calls / emails received from the applicants at the current service centre.

IVAC centre is supposed to work from 8 am to 6 pm and the call centre time is 9 AM to 7 PM on all working days.
11SMS Charges(XIII)As there is a charge levied by the telecom service providers; we request the embassy to allow the charge under VAS category .Applicable value added services already mentioned in RFP. No other services are authorised. Reference Para XI.14.a.
12Biometric enrolmentWhat would be the likely date of implementation of biometric data capture?June 1, 2016.
1329(m).  Unviable Service FeeWhat is the Mission’s definition of unviable Service fee? Service fee charged by the current service provider will not be even sufficient to pay even the staff salaries.No para 29m mentioned in RFP
14Signature of CEO/Directors on all the DocumentsWill the Mission consider the RFP response and relevant Annexure including the Financial Bid to be signed by a senior person authorized by the Board of Directors of the company?

As the CEO/Directors are not usually available at one place hence getting the entire response document signed by one of them will be a difficult task considering the stringent timelines of the RFP.

Hence we request Mission to kindly consider the request.
Signature by a senior official of the organisation authorised by the Board of Directors of the participating company is also acceptable on Technical, Financial and other bid documents.
15Urgent/Emergency Visa CategoryWhat is the service provider allowed to charge for Urgent Visa Applications; in addition to the regular Service Fee?

Additionally, please provide month wise count of applications processed under this Urgent category in the last 3 years?
Emergency visa services such as medical emergency would be handled directly by the Embassy. For this, services provider is not entitled to charge any fees.
16Call center and helpdesk of the current service provider-TimingsWe have experienced applicants contacting the new service provider for applications submitted at the previous service provider. In this event, the current service provider should be asked to continue their telephone and email helpdesk for at least two weeks after the last date of their contract. Kindly advise.Necessary arrangements for smooth transition would be made in consultation with the new incoming service provider and existing service provider which would be facilitated by the Mission.
17Postal Applications- Incomplete DocumentsService provider should be allowed to return the applications that do not have all the mandatory documents in the postal package received after deducting the service provider fee and the return courier charges.Not applicable.
18The Bidding Company must provide certification that its operations are compliant with local labour laws and relevant tax regimeThis certification can only be provided after the operations have begun and taxes are filed at the end of the 1st financial year. Please confirm if our understanding is correct.-
19Ref- Profit Margin & Reasonable rate of return

What might be reasonable for one service provider might not be reasonable for another. Please specify a

range which Embassy feels is reasonable.
Embassy cannot set any rate of profit margin for the service provider. It may vary from business entity to business entity.
20VI- Post/Courier applications received should be brought into the system on the same day of the receiptScrutiny of these applications may take some time post the postal/courier company delivers the applications to the VAC, and this could delay the upload into the main system to the next day. Hence, embassy should approve the flexibility of one business day for such applications to be brought into the system.Not applicable.
21XII- Service fee can be retained by the service providerSince the courier company will charge a fee for return of incomplete documents, such charges should be deducted from the refund as per the VAS schedule along with the service provider service fee.Not applicable.
22Penalties“no of days” should be replaced with “per business day” as the banking system does not work on non business daysNot applicable.

 

 
 
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