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Request for Proposals for the Overseas Processing Entity (OPE) in Moscow, Russia


Report
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
July 3, 2008


Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration
Office of Admissions
July 3, 2008

I. Purpose of the Overseas Processing Entity

The admissions process for refugee applicants seeking resettlement in the United States is overseen by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration of the Department of State (the Bureau).

The purpose of the Overseas Processing Entity (OPE) is to assist the Bureau in preparing the necessary casework for persons eligible for consideration by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) under the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program and, for those approved, to provide assistance in completing the additional requirements for refugee admission under Section 207 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. In addition, the OPE forwards the necessary data on all DHS-approved cases to the Refugee Processing Center (RPC) for distribution to Reception and Placement agencies according to procedures established by the Bureau.

The Bureau will enter into one Cooperative Agreement for the OPE in Moscow, Russia, for an initial period beginning October 1, 2008, through September 30, 2009, subject to the availability of funds. Through the Cooperative Agreement, the Bureau will provide full financial support to the selected organization, based on the proposal submitted in response to this request. This financial support may be renewable for up to two additional fiscal years based upon budget submissions on an annual basis, as long as there remains a need for the OPE and the organization operating the OPE provides satisfactory service, and subject to the availability of funds. At the end of three years, if the need to operate the OPE continues, the Bureau will re-compete the project, and the recipient of this award may participate in that process.

International organizations (IOs) that apply for funding opportunities on Grants.gov are subject to PRM administrative authorities and procedures for voluntary contributions to IOs.

The organization selected to operate the OPE is expected to provide regional refugee processing services for all U.S. Refugee Admissions Program applicants in the designated location, regardless of nationality or ethnicity, beginning on October 1, 2008. For that to be possible, we estimate that the organization would begin operating under an initial Cooperative Agreement beginning October 1, 2008.

The organization selected to operate the OPE will be expected to relate equitably to all domestic resettlement agencies. This will include sharing relevant biographic and other background information with domestic resettlement agencies working in the Reception and Placement program (to facilitate their provision of required sponsorship assurances).

II. Program Objectives

The Bureau has established the following objectives for the organization serving as OPE in Moscow:

1. To provide regional refugee processing services in selected locations in Europe and Central Asia (ECA) in support of the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program using the Worldwide Refugee Admissions Processing System (WRAPS) and in accordance with procedures established by the Bureau, as needs arise.

2. To ensure that each potential refugee applicant is screened to determine if he/she is eligible for interview under the processing priorities established for his/her nationality.

3. To conduct pre-screening interviews and casework within the ECA regionso as to capture all relevant information pertaining to the case, e.g. cross-referencing information, special medical needs, information about victims of torture, etc. To ensure that all necessary security name-checks are completed. To prepare the case file, including completion of all forms necessary for presentation of the case to USCIS for adjudication.

4. To enter all required information into WRAPS on a timely basis and to remain in close contact with the Refugee Processing Center (RPC), cooperating fully and at all times to ensure that the WRAPS system and related equipment remains functional and up to date.

5. For applicants approved by USCIS, to assist the refugees in completing all post-adjudication steps required for admission to the United States. This includes: coordinating with the Refugee Processing Center (RPC) to obtain sponsorship assurances from Reception and Placement agencies working under cooperative agreements with the Bureau; preparing travel packets; coordinating medical screening and travel arrangements, and cultural orientation.

III. Funding Procedures

The organization with which the Bureau enters into a Cooperative Agreement for this OPE will be funded for all approved costs associated with providing the required processing services according to a budget submitted as part of this proposal. (See Attachment II for budget preparation instructions.)

IV. WRAPS Requirements

The Worldwide Refugee Admissions Processing System (WRAPS) is deployed in all refugee processing sites. The use of WRAPS is mandatory, and the OPE must therefore establish itself as WRAPS-ready. Equipment that will be procured by the OPE and related costs must be included in the proposal. Note also the qualifications required for the OPE’s information technology personnel required to maintain WRAPS. See Attachment III for a list of hardware and software items that are currently needed to operate WRAPS, including the equipment to operate the Circuit Ride functionality. Also provided are the qualifications for the OPE Network Administrator.

 

V. Eligibility

The Bureau intends to award a single Cooperative Agreement to a single qualified organization to provide the required services in Moscow, Russia. Organizations eligible to submit proposals include entities that have demonstrated satisfactory performance working as a State Department-funded organization with the United State Refugee Admissions Program, domestically or overseas, within the last five years.

Organizations must also meet the following requirements in order to be considered as candidates to operate the OPE:

a. Be authorized by the Government of Russia to conduct activities relating to the welfare, protection, or maintenance of refugees in Russia, as evidenced for non-governmental organizations by a Certificate of Registration issued by the Federal Government per the Federal Laws Governing Non-Profit Organizations prior to August 4, 2008, or, for international organizations by accreditation by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the organization is authorized by the government to conduct such activities as of August 4, 2008.

b. Have evidence of effective coordination with U.S. Government agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations and International Organizations involved with the refugee admissions program.

c. Possess management capacity at the agency’s headquarters sufficient to oversee the operation of the OPE.

Failure to satisfy the above requirements will preclude any further consideration of a proposal.


 

VI. Proposal Evaluation Process

PRM will evaluate each proposal that meets the above requirements and is submitted by an eligible organization. The proposals will be evaluated by the Bureau to determine which presents the best and most cost effective plan for providing comprehensive service provision to applicants of all ethnic groups. The overall refugee processing experience of the proposing organization will also be evaluated.

VII. Refugee Processing Caseload

While it is impossible to predict what the precise number of refugee applicants processed by the OPE will be or where they will be located, the Bureau is providing the following estimates for use in preparing the proposal:
Cases People
Caseload in FY 2009 3,000 10,000
Departures in FY 2009 900 2,500

If during the agreement period the number of cases processed either dramatically falls short of or exceeds the level anticipated in this announcement and the approved proposal, the Bureau will negotiate an amended budget with the OPE.

VIII. Procedures

It is the intention of the Bureau to enter into a Cooperative Agreement effective on or about October 1, 2008 (subject to the availability of funds) and remain in effect through September 30, 2009.

Each organization requesting consideration for entering into a Cooperative Agreement with the Bureau must submit all information as requested in Attachment I.

Proposals that are incomplete and/or fail to respond to all required elements of this program announcement may not be found competitive. If the Bureau requests clarifications regarding information included in the proposal, failure to provide this information by the date specified may also preclude further consideration of the proposal.

Proposals must be submitted electronically via Grants.gov by 5:00 p.m., Monday, August 4, 2008. If not possible, a hard copy may be submitted by the deadline. Faxed submissions will not be accepted. All pages including appendices should be numbered in a single, consecutive numbering system.

The Bureau will fax each agency a letter confirming receipt of the documents. An agency not receiving this acknowledgement within five days after submitting its request should immediately notify Ms. Delicia Spruell at 202-663-1006.

To apply electronically, applications will be linked to this announcement on Grants.gov.

Hard copy submissions should be addressed and mailed to:

Ms. Terry Rusch, Director
Office of Admissions
Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration
Department of State
Room L505, SA-1
2401 E Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20522-0105

Attachments:
I. Required Information
II. Budget Preparation Guide
III. WRAPS Requirements
IV. Sample Budget Format

Attachment I
Overseas Processing Entity Moscow Proposal
October 1, 2008 – September 30, 2009

Required Information

Each agency interested in entering into a Cooperative Agreement with the Bureau to operate the OPE in Moscow, Russia, from October 1, 2008, through September 30, 2009, must submit the information specified below. Responses should be presented in the same order as the requirements listed below, with each section numbered to reflect the corresponding section under Required Information. If any individual requirement is not applicable, that should be specifically stated and explained in the proposal.

I. Organizational Structure/Management and Oversight

The Agency should provide a narrative describing:

· Its organizational structure, including the number of headquarters staff (to be described in terms of “Full Time Equivalent” positions) that will be assigned to oversee the OPE in Moscow; the number of local and international staff to be assigned to the OPE; staffing patterns; training protocols for all staff;

· How its processing activities under the Cooperative Agreement with the Bureau will be monitored;

· How it will establish an operation to handle the processing of the caseload.

The Agency should identify the Bureau’s point of contact at the headquarters office and at the OPE itself.

II. Proposed Budget

Following the guidance outlined in Attachment II, the Agency should identify all costs within the specified budget categories it wishes the Bureau to consider funding for OPE activities.

III. Certifications


 

Each agency is required to complete the revised SF 424 (Version 02) (http://www.grants.gov/techlib/424_20090131.doc) as part of the application. When applying through Grants.gov, the electronic signature and date on this form signifies compliance with all assurances and certifications as indicated in block 21 of the SF 424 (Version 02). Should applicants elect to submit hard copies of proposals, please ensure that at least one of the three copies of the proposal contains original signatures on the SF 424 (Version 02).

 


Attachment II



BUDGET PREPARATION GUIDE FOR MOSCOW OPE PROPOSALS

 

This Guide explains which costs the Bureau wants organizations to include in each budget category when preparing a proposal for overseas processing activities. For policy guidance concerning U.S. Government regulations or admissible expenditure limits, etc., please refer to OMB circulars A-122 and A-110. A sample budget format is provided as attachment IV.

PERSONNEL


 

This category should include annual salaries, wages, stipends, consultant fees, allowances, bonuses or extra months salary, and any anticipated termination or severance pay for all personnel (regular or contractual) to be charged to the proposed agreement. Caseworker staff must be proficient in using WRAPS, e-mail, PC’s and Windows applications. Note that the plan for staffing must include information technology staff qualified to maintain WRAPS. The network administrator should be competent in Windows 2003, Windows XP, IIS, SQL Server 2005, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Office, router configuration and management. Include a staff roster with the above information, indicating existing and proposed positions, an organizational chart, and show total FTE (full-time equivalency) for each type of position in the designated column and actual number of employees occupying each position in the comments column. Information on COLA and proposed salary increase or adjustment should be noted in the narrative accompanying the budget worksheet. For consultants, show the proposed daily rate and indicate the number of days of consultant service anticipated in the comments column.

 

Attach a copy of your organization's established salary schedule showing different pay levels and step increases on which the budget is based.

 

ALLOWANCES


 

The comments column of the budget worksheet should specify the number of employees being given each service; i.e., housing for 3 employees; education allowance for 2 children of 2 employees, etc.

 

Explain anticipated termination or severance expenses in the Narrative Section.

 

FRINGE BENEFITS


 

Show total cost of fringe benefits provided to International Hire and Local Hire employees. It is not necessary to identify individual benefits provided. Where applicable, the percentage of salaries used to calculate benefits should be shown. The benefits must be consistent with the organization's established personnel policies and practices for all of its employees.

 

TRAVEL


 

List local program travel in this category (headquarters staff travel should be included in the Headquarters Expenses category below.) Provide one total for in-country project travel and one total for furlough/home leave travel. All anticipated international trips must be listed individually. Show only the total cost of each trip. Do not itemize by category; rather, list general categories included in the trip total (airfare, per diem, etc.) in the comments column.

 

EQUIPMENT


 

This category should include both expendable and non-expendable equipment the organization expects to purchase for program activities. Non-expendable equipment is defined as tangible personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit. List items with a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $1,000 - $5,000 per unit separately as expendable equipment. Consolidate like items of lesser value by type of equipment (i.e., telephones, office furniture) with quantities or types to be purchased noted in the comments column. See Attachment III for WRAPS requirements.

 

If your organization has established levels for equipment at a lesser amount than $5,000, items may be shown according to organization policy, as long as the policy is explained in the Narrative Section. The organization must apply its definition consistently in all U.S. government funded arrangements.

 

Also include equipment to be leased, including vehicles, as well as anticipated maintenance and repair costs for equipment (including contracts.)

 

SUPPLIES


 

In this category include such items as office and automotive supplies and computer software.

 

CONTRACTUAL SERVICES


 

Include here any anticipated sub-contracts, such as security guards, payroll services, etc. Do not include contracts for regular personnel, maintenance and repair of non-expendable equipment, or audits, which are listed elsewhere.

 

OTHER DIRECT EXPENSES


 

Please follow the attached format for inclusion of other direct costs of the program, indicating separately anticipated costs for utilities, space rental, communications, insurance, printing/duplicating, and audit, as well as other costs not included elsewhere in the budget.

 

HEADQUARTERS EXPENSES


 

This category should include any anticipated U.S. domestic or international travel of headquarters staff in support of this program as well as any personnel costs or other expenses to be directly charged by the organization to the program (for personnel, include percentage of time dedicated to this program.)

 

CULTURAL ORIENTATION


 

The organization operating the OPE will provide cultural orientation to approved refugees aged 15 and above in accordance with guidelines developed in conjunction with the Bureau by the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) and described in the publication “Welcome to the United States--A Guidebook for Refugees” (CAL, 2004) and other CAL materials (see www.culturalorientation.net ). The cultural orientation training will be for a period of three days and at a minimum address the following subjects:
· Role of the Resettlement Agency
· Rights and Responsibilities of Refugees
· Transit
· Early Employment Priority
· Work plus English Study
· Public Assistance Benefits
· Cultural Adjustment
· Education
· Health Care
· Housing
INDIRECT COST RATE

 

Please note your organization's percentage rate and attach a copy of the most recent negotiated indirect cost rate agreement with the cognizant U.S. government agency. Also note base of application in the comments column.

 

COMMENTS


 

Comments are not required for every budget line item. This column provides space for further identification, as needed, of items included in the budget categories. For example, under travel, each individual trip should be identified and total cost for each trip provided under the “Proposed Budget” column, with items included in the costs, e.g., airfare, per diem, taxis, etc., specified under “Comments”. The Comments column is not intended to replace the Narrative section.

 

BUDGET SUMMARY PAGE


 

Include budget category totals on the summary page.

NARRATIVE

 

The Narrative section describes the proposed program and how refugee processing functions will be performed. It also explains the budget request. The Narrative should specifically identify any cost of living (COLA) request and provide a dollar amount for the total cost of the COLA (broken down by international-hire and local-hire, as appropriate).

 

ATTACHMENT III



BASIC WRAPS REQUIREMENTS

 

 

Following are the current equipment/software requirements to operate WRAPS software.


HARDWARE/SOFTWARE


Servers
WRAPS requires four servers: one Domain Controller, one Domain Controller/Exchange, one Application server, and one Database server.


 

Server configuration availability changes as the manufacturer upgrades equipment. If the listed versions are not available, the current comparable versions should be substituted.

 

Following are the minimum configuration for each server:

 

Server hardware
Domain Controller (2 required for the OPE)
HP Proliant DL320
Intel Processors D Dual Core
2 GB RAM
2 – 80 GB SATA Disk Drives
CD-RW/DVD-ROM
1.44 MB Floppy Disk Drive


 

Application Server / Exchange
HP Proliant ML370
2 Intel Xeon Processors
4 GB RAM
6 – 146.8 GB 10K RPM Disk Drives
CD-RW/DVD-ROM
1.44 MB Floppy Disk Drive
HP Smart Array 6404/256 Controller (RAID)
HP Ultrium 448 Tape Drive
Redundant Power Supply
Redundant Fan Kit


 

Database Server
HP Proliant ML570
4 Intel Xeon Processors
4 GB RAM
10 – 146.8 GB 10K RPM Disk Drives
CD-RW/DVD-ROM
1.44 MB Floppy Disk Drive
HP Smart Array 6404/256 Controller (RAID)
HP Ultrium 448 Tape Drive
Redundant Power Supply
Redundant Fan Kit


 

Server Software

  • Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition - 4 copies (1 each server)
  • MS Office 2003 SP1 - 3 copies (App, DB and Exchange servers)
  • Crystal Reports 9 Advanced SP4 - 1 copy (App server)
  • Symantec Anti-Virus Corp Edition 10.1 - 4 copies (1 each server)
  • Arcana Scheduler - 1 copy (App server)
  • .Net 2.0
  • PKZip Command Line - 1 copy (App server)
  • MSXML 6.0 - 2 copies (App and DB server)
  • Remotely Anywhere - 4 copies (1 each server)
  • Adobe Acrobat 6 - 4 copies (1 each server)
  • WinRAR - 4 copies (1 each server)
  • WinZip 9 - 4 copies (1 each server)
  • UltraBac 7 - 4 copies (1 each server)
  • Microsoft Exchange 2003 SP2 – 1 copy (Exchange Server)

 

Server Rack

  • HP Rack 10622 22U
  • R5500 UPS
  • 1X4 Rack mount KVM Switch
  • TFT5600 Rack mount Keyboard Monitor

 

 

Network Components


 

WRAPS connectivity requires the following network components:

 

Router - Cisco 1841

  • A router fully compliant with IPSec Protocol
  • WAN Interface Cards for the local connections

 Firewall

  • Sonicwall Professional 2040

 

Switch

  • Cisco Catalyst 3560 10/100/1000 Ethernet Switch

Note: Number of switches and density of ports determined by local requirements


 

UPS

 

Peripherals


 

The following peripherals will be needed to operate the WRAPS software.
Printer

  • HP LaserJet 4250 with networking capability

(Note: Quantity determined by local requirements)

Label Printer

  • Zebra LP2844 with networking capability

 

Digital Camera

 

Scanner

  • Double Sided Image Scanner (Size to accommodate the projected scanning workload.)
  •  Adobe Acrobat Software

Workstation Desktops

Each caseworker and each supervisor at the OPE will have a Pentium class desktop computer with following minimum requirements:

 

Workstations (Minimum Requirements)

  •  Intel or AMD Athleon Processor
  •  2 GB RAM
  • 80 GB Hard Drive
  • Fast Ethernet Network Interface Card
  • 17“ Monitor
  • CD-ROM
  • 1.44 MB Floppy Drive

 

Workstation Software

  • Windows XP Professional
  •  Microsoft Office 2003
  •  Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0
  • Adobe Reader 
  • Anti-Virus Software

 


Structured Cabling

· Category 5/6 UTP (plenum or low smoke)
· Cable run from wall jack to patch panel in wiring closet
· RJ 45 patch cables to connect PC to wall jacks
· RJ 45 patch cords to connect patch panel to LAN switches


 


Security


 

· Servers should be installed into a secure area to prevent unauthorized access to the server consoles.
· Router and firewall should be kept in a secure cabinet.

 

 

Power


 

· Two 15 Amp circuits 220-240V 50Mhz.

 


Telecommunications


 

The OPE shall have an Internet Service Provider (ISP) with a minimum of:

 

· 256 Kbps dedicated line.
· IP Subnet with at least 14 host addresses

 


Personnel


 

OPE will supply personnel with the following minimum qualifications:

 

Network administrator:

  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows XP Professional
  •  IIS
  • SQL Server SQL 2005 SP2
  • Microsoft Exchange
  • Router configuration and management
  • Microsoft Office

 

Caseworkers:

  • must be proficient in using e-mail, PCs, and Windows applications.

 


Circuit Rides

The following equipment is needed to support the Circuit Ride functionality of WRAPS. One set of equipment is needed to support a single circuit ride. Currently OPE Moscow is a 15 circuit ride site. The capability for additional simultaneous circuit rides will be available by October 1, 2008.

· Hardware for Circuit Ride – (Minimum 2 laptops for one Circuit Ride)

  • HP Compaq NW8440 - Intel Pentium Core 2 Processor
  • 2 GB RAM (minimum)
  • 80 GB Hard Drive (minimum)
  • Workstations and switches for circuit ride processing are determined by local circuit ride requirements.

 

Software for Circuit Ride – one copy for each laptop

  • Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition
  • MS Office 2003 SP1
  • SQL Server 2005 SP2
  • Crystal Reports 9 Advanced SP4
  • Symantec Anti-Virus Corp Edition 10.1
  • PKZip Command Line
  • .Net 2.0
  • MSXML 6.0
  • Remotely Anywhere
  • Adobe Acrobat 6
  • WinRAR
  • WinZip 9
  • UltraBac 7

· Not required, but recommended, for system backups:

Maxtor One Touch 250 GB USB External Disk Drive - Part Number A01A250 - only 1 needed



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