Responses to Questions RFP DEI Assessment

The following questions were submitted by consultants interested in responding to the Request for Proposals to conduct a diversity, equity and inclusion internal assessment. 

The deadline to submit questions is Monday January 16, 2023. 
 
Addendum
 
The purpose of this addendum is to provide answers to questions that have been received in response to this RFP.

Q. What is the city's budget for this project?

A. The budget is $40,000

Q. What is the timeline to complete the project?

A. The timeline to complete the project is August 31, 2023.

Q. Is there or will there be available a demographic breakdown of City of Ashland employee demographics to include race, age, sex, etc. hat can be sued as a starting point in a behavioral assessment.

A. No. The City does not track demographic data of employees. 

Q. Does the City of Ashland have a desired timeline completion date (i.e. six months)?  The RFP mentions the consultant providing timelines...if the project exceeds these timelines is there an opportunity for extension of the contract?

A. The timeline to complete the project is August 31, 2023.  An extension of the contract would depend on many different variables.

Q.  How many employees will participate in the assessment? 

A. The consultant will determine the number of employees needed to complete the project.

Q. Has there been a previous assessment done?

A. No.

Q. What is the budget for the project?

A. $40,000

Q. Will the scope of work require a strategic plan? 

A. A strategic plan is a required deliverable.

Q. Has the City of Ashland worked with a consultant firm before?

A. Yes. 

Q.  Are you able to share your budget? 

A. $40,000

Q. Was there an particular impetus that prompted this initiative?

A. No.

Q. Do you have a timeline on when you would like the project completed?

A. The timeline to complete this project is August 31, 2023.

Q. Do you have any particular preference for virtual? In person? Hybrid? 

A. The consultant should determine what they are able to provide in terms of the scope of work, the desired deliverables and the budget.

Q. Does the City expect the training strategy to include the development and facilitation of training or recommendations for training?

A. The Scope of Work states "Develop a training strategy to increase staff DEI competencies, skills and capacity". 

Q. Does the City have an intended timeframe for this engagement?

A. The timeline to complete the project is August 31, 2023.

Q. Does the City have a preference between the consultant performing the work remotely or onsite/in-person. 
  
A. No.  

Q.  What level of involvement, if any, does the City anticipate the Social Equity and Racial Justice Commission having throughout this engagement.  

A. The involvement of the Social Equity and Racial Justice Commission, if any,  will be determined as the project progresses.

Q. Does the City have a proposed budget for this engagement?

A. The budget is $40,000.

Q. Has the City of Ashland completed any DEI activities in the past? If so, who was the incumbent consultant firm that supported these activities?

A. The City has provided 1/2 day DEI training which was provided by Common Ground Conversations.

Q. Is there an allocated budget for this project? If so what is it?

A. The budget is $40,000.

Q. What is driving the engagement schedule? Is there a desired start date or completion date.

A. Proposals are due February 17. 2023, the start date will be shortly after.  The completion date is August 31, 2023.  

Q. Are there any frameworks or standards the City of Ashland currently follows or desires to follow for DEI.

A. The City has initiated Blind Applications. Before serving on an interview panel for the City, we require that the panelists receive training (online) regarding the importance of diversity in hiring and recognizing and eliminating bias.

Q. Does the City have a Strategic Plan in place?

A. No.

Q. In the future, will the City need support with implementation and operationalization of the framework presented? 
 
A. Maybe,

Q. What is the total approved budget?

A. The budget is $40,000. 

Q. How many total members of staff and management team are there?

A. Approximately 245.

Q. When is the anticipated project start date, and desired end date?

A. Proposals are due February 17. 2023, the start date will be shortly after.  The completion date is August 31, 2023.  

Q. What is the estimated budget range or ceiling for this project?

A. The budget is $40,000.

Q. How many people are employed by the City of Ashland?

A. Approximately 245.

Q. Has the City provided prior training or capacity-building to city staff around diversity, equity and inclusion? If so, please briefly describe and who has participated.

A. The City has provided 1/2 day DEI training to the management team which was provided by Common Ground Conversations.

Q. To what extend do the Mayor and/or Council membership support or champion DEI in the City.

A. The Mayor and full City Council support DEI 100% and formed a Social Equity and Racial Justice Committee. 

Q. Will participation of city staff or leadership in this effort be mandated? 

A. Yes.

Q. Understanding that this is an internal City assessment, to what extent, if any, would the City like to engage external advisory or community members/representatives in this assessment and planning process?

A. This would depend on what the consultant proposes.

Q. We are seeking clarity on the level of detail of desired deliverables.  Specifically:

On page 3, regarding the 3rd bullet under Desired Deliverables, the City requests a framework for vendor selection and updated. policies.  Is the expectation that the plan will specify the needs for updated policies and requirements and steps towards design/implementation or is the desire for the contractor to work with the City to develop and deliver updated vendor policies as a deliverable of this engagement?

A. The expectation is the plan will include a framework for vendor selection that incorporates diversity, equity and inclusion best practices and update vendor policies to align with best practices and identify reporting and monitoring processes.

On page 3, the third bullet at the top of the page (under Scope of Work) which begins on the prior page), the scope requests increased awareness and addressing of DEI within City funded programs.  Is the city interested in engaging external community partners or agencies which might be funded by the city (e.g. services for the unhoused, other community services) in this assessment, or are the city funded programs referred to delivery by internal staff exclusively?

A. Internal and external City-funded programs.

Q. Is the City in the process of hiring a DEI manager to help facilitate or will the audit take place prior to the manager's hiring. 

A. No. 

Q. What does the currently partnership look like between the city and the community? What's the current culture?

A. The assessment is internal.  

Q. Are there any insurance requirement for bidders?

A. The selected contractor will be required to have insurance. 





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