ACCS Consulting Services and Enterprise Risk Management Software

Start: 02/22/2013
End: 03/6/2013

Documents

Released RFP

 

Questions and Answers

Question: Will ACCS be providing specific documentation relative to ACCS processes with regard to the following initiatives listed for the RFP process or will these be further explored after the contract is awarded?
Answer: ACCS Institutions will (individually) provide this Information to the successful responder. Obtain a high-level understanding of the System's current fiscal risk management programs including: 

  • National Association of College and University Business Officers categories of business, strategic, compliance, operational, reputational  and financial risks.
  • The Association of College and University Auditor's risk dictionary and definitions
  • Information technology (IT) risk planning
  • Non-IT emergency preparedness
  • Insurance for property and liability
  • Risk management for investments and debt
  • Regulatory compliance,including compliance with federal grant regulations, environmental health and safety regulations, financial aid regulations and Equal Employment Opportunity regulations.
  • Program viability and effectiveness and gainful employment
  • ?Composite Financial Index calculations


Question: How many users are included in the scope of the project?
Answer: Our projections are: 100 users for data Input on the fiscal information and 500 users for data Input on risk management information. However, a dashboard for analysis and report generation would Increase each of those numbers by at least 50.

Question: Will ACCS require us to register with the Alabama Secretary of State prior to responding to the RFP or can that process be initiated during the contract process?
Answer: You do not have to be listed on the purchasing website.

Question: Due to the  complexity  of  this  engagement,  would  the  State consider  extending  the deadline  for proposal submission?
Answer: The Audit Committee and Chencellor have agreed on the deadline. It will not be extended for submissions.

Question: If the System currently has an ERM process in place, can you provide us with a description of those processes and the framework being used?
Answer: Each college presently conducts their own risk assessments with a variety of methods -some electronic, some manual.  There are a variety of accounting software packages In place at the colleges.

Question: Does the system currently have ERM software in place? If so, please provide vendor name a nd version?
Answer: The Audit Division (now) uses Teammate. Each Institution of the system utilizes Its own process. The Department has not required the Institution share that Information.

Question: Completing the entity-wide risk assessment is essential in selecting the appropriate ERM software to meet the needs of the System. This would ensure the System's financial resources are maximized in the selection and implementation of the ERM software. Has the System or would the System consider delaying bidding out the ERM software portion of this proposal until after risk assessment  is complete?
Answer: The determination  was to partner  the two to assure a seamlessness  in the processes. If sufficient and appropriate responses are not received the Chancellor will make a determination.

Question: Can the System provide us with or access to the most recently audited fina ncial statements of the entities covered under this RFP?
Answer: Attached.

Question: What is the System's timeline for awarding this project?
Answer: Hopefully within two (2) weeks.

Question: What is the System's timeline for the project from date of commencement to completion date?
Answer: To be determined; however, it is anticipated this will be an ongoing process for course of the contract with an expectation of first data result and reports being available within 30 days of award.

Question: What is the System's expectations as to completion date of the deliverables under this RFP?
Answer: To be determined; however, it is anticipated this will be an ongoing process for course of the contract with an expectation of first data result and reports being available within 30 days of award.

Question: In relation to the ERM software, does the System want all entities covered under this agreement to be connected and integrated at one central point  (the Department of Post-Secondary Education) or function as stand- alone ERM systems at the various colleges?
Answer: Both. The data is to be gathered at individual stand alone sites. All data output is to be available to the individual institution for decision making. However, It Is also to be available to the Department (Chancellor) for individual analysis, as well as available for comparative purposes.

Question: Do we need to register at this site listed on your website prior to selection?
Answer: You do not have to be listed on the purchasing web site.

Question: Provide benchmark financial information for each entity.

  • Will the System provide a pre-determined matrix of benchmarks or does the System want us to develop a set of benchmarks?  
    Answer: In accordance with the RFP (page 1) the successful respondent will develop this Information.
  • Does the System want benchmarks comparable state-wide, regional, or national? Answer: Benchmarks are to encompass state, regional, and national best practices.


Question: Test and evaluate financial information provided by each entity.

  • In some cases, the 2012 audited financial statements a re available and can be used. For all others, will the individual entities provide compiled financial statements or will we be required to compile the financial statements?
    Answer: All entitles will have audited financial statements. However, testing of information Is a requirement per RFP (page 1 "Test and evaluate financial Information provided by each entity.") 
  • ? Will the system define the procedures to be performed to test and evaluate financial information?  Answer: No. The system Is relying on the financial expertise and professional (governing) standards of the successful respondent. 


Question: ?Provide condensed financial information by entity, based  on tested data and substantiate the reasonableness of account balances.

  • What level of assurance are you looking for? (compilation/review)
    Answer: The successful respondent should be prepared to provide a complete picture of the financial capacity (-strength or weakness) of each entity, Including reasonable assurance of Information related to the reports In terms of completeness, accuracy, and Integrity of records and supporting documentation, and the reasonableness of those data.


Question: Provide an early warning system overview.

  • Can the System provide a more detailed explanation as to what it is looking for in an early warning system?
    Answer: An early warning system would Include (but not be limited to) data which would provide analysis of key financial Information (Indicators) which would highlight areas of financial       volatility, high risk, and other measures that are meaningful In the higher education arena for     strategic and operational decision making.  Further Information regarding such Indicators can be   researched at the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO) website.


Question: Develop a cross-reference system for formatting financial data for common account references.

  • Is the System considering a standardized chart of accounts to be implemented across the System?   
    Answer: The successful respondent would be responsible for creating a reporting model that would provide consistency In classification of Information for the purpose of analysis, reporting and consistency in reporting across entities.
  • Does the System want a matrix to facilitate the manual cross-referencing of financial data or is the System looking for an electronic solution to consolidating information from each of the entities? Answer: The System is not soliciting a matrix, but Is requiring a consolidated reporting from the successful respondent that would classify the chart of accounts based upon expenditure type.


Question: Provide advisory services to the State Board of Education.

  •  Will this be billed separately?
    Answer: No.
  • ?Will this be an ongoing service?
    Answer: Yes. 
  • How much time does the System anticipate in advisory services?
    Answer: Unknown. This is a new service. Successful respondent should be prepared to provide advisory services up to 90 days after completion of final solution reports are provided to the System. 


Question:Enterprise Risk Management

  • Have all institutions performed a risk assessment covering business,strategic,compliance,operational, reputatlonal and financial risks?
    Answer: Unknown.
  • Does the System expect us to perform a risk assessment at each entity or merely review, assess and;comment on the risk assessment process as it exists at each entity?
    Answer: In accordance with the RFP.
  • Has each entity completed a detailed IT risk assessment?
    Answer: Unknown.
  • For the regulatory I compliance risk assessment, have you considered (or implemented) protection of personal private data?
    Answer: Please be more specific in your question.
  • Has Internal Audit or the Colleges fully Implemented the TeamRisk module of TeamMate where a comprehensive risk assessment is scored by risk and by college campus and rolled up into one prioritized  risk assessment and internal audit plan? 
    • If so, is self-assessment surveys sent out to process owners and incorporated into the risk assessment process? 
      Answer: The TeamRisk module of TeamMate is used solely for Internal Audit processes. The RFP is solicited totally independently of the Internal Audit process. (The successful  respondent  Is responsible for Incorporation  of such processes In their proposed  solution  Independently  of Internal Audit.)
    • If not, is this contem plated as part of the overall ERM project? 
      Answer: The TeamRlsk module of TeamMate Is  used for Internal Audit processes. The RFP Is solicited totally Independently  of the Internal Audit  process. 
  • Has Internal Audit or the Colleges fully implemented the TeamCentral module of TeamMate where findings, gaps and issues are tracked, monitored  and followed  up via email linking?  If not, is this contemplated as part of the overall ERM project?
    ?Answer: Team Central is used by Internal Audit. However, the RFP Is solicited Independently of the Internal Audit process. (The successful respondent  Is responsible for Incorporation  of such processes  In their  proposed  solution Independently  of  Internal Audit.) 
  • Has Internal Audit or the Colleges fully implemented the executive dashboards and 360 degree reporting capabilities of TeamMate? If not, is the contemplated as part of the overall ERM project?
    Answer: The RFP is solicited Independently of the Internal Audit process. We are not aware of any colleges Implementing the executive dashboards of TeamMate. (The successful respondent Is responsible for Incorporation of such processes in their proposed solution independently of Internal Audit.)
  • lf TeamMate modules have not been fully implemented and is contemplated as part of the solution for ERM management, how many user licenses would Internal Audit anticipate needing for full utilization and implementation?
    Answer: TeamMate Is not contemplated by the System as a part of the solution for ERM. he RFP Is solicited Independently of the Internal Audit process.  The estimated number of users 100 users for data Input on the fiscal information and 500 users for data Input on risk management information. However, a dashboard for analysis and report generation would Increase each of those numbers by at least 50.

 

Result

Bid  Awarded to: