The City of Ferndale (“City”) is issuing this Request for Proposals (RFP) to solicit vendor proposals for a municipal financial management software system (system) to serve the current and projected needs of the City. The application software and hardware configuration should comply with the minimum specifications as outlined in this RFP. The City operates on the cash basis of accounting.
The City intends to seek the best solution, based on the evaluation criteria contained in this RFP, for its data processing needs. The successful vendor(s) will seek to establish an integrated hardware/software environment for the City that can be implemented rapidly following conversion of existing data and processes into the system. The hardware/software must satisfy the specifications contained in this RFP and shall include whatever vendor resources are required from the areas of computer systems hardware, software, security, technical training, conversion, maintenance, and service support, including coordination with the City’s IT provider.
The City of Ferndale is a Second Class Code City located in Whatcom County, in northwest Washington State. The City has a population of approximately 15,500 people and is one of the fastest-growing cities in Washington State and operates as a cash-basis entity, utilizing the Washington State Auditor Budget, Accounting, and Reporting System (BARS). The Ferndale Finance Department consists of five full-time employees, including a Director, Deputy Treasurer, Senior Accountant, Utility Billing Clerk, and Accounts Payable Clerk. The City currently operates Vision Classic municipal finance software and utilizes Payroll, Utility Billing, Cash Management, Financials, and Business Licensing modules within that software.
Currently, the City also utilizes Microsoft Excel to supplement financial software when creating and maintaining the City’s budget, in creating Journal Entry and Transfer documentation, and more. The City also utilizes Quickbooks to process Accounts Receivable. The majority of City forms, including timesheets, utility billing, purchase orders or vouchers, and budget reporting are completed on paper copies that are then manually entered into the respective software systems.
In addition to the above, the City is seeking a Municipal Financial Management Software System and vendor that will provide:
The City seeks to contract with a single vendor for all hardware and software, and hardware/software maintenance, installation, conversion, training, and support. The City contracts with an independent third party for IT purposes, and coordination between the single vendor and the City’s IT consultant is anticipated. The City reserves the right to evaluate each software application module on its own standard of performance, regardless of whether other or remaining application modules of the vendor are considered by the City. The City reserves the right to award the system to any one vendor or a combination of vendors.
Digital proposal will be accepted until 5pm on April 28th, 2023. Proposals submitted must be binding for no less than ninety (90) days after the date received.
The City reserves the right to reject any or all proposals or portions of a proposal. The City also reserves the right to waive minor technicalities in the proposal. The City reserves the right of evaluation and the right to determine the methodology for evaluation of the proposals to determine which proposal is best. The City reserves the right to re-open the RFP process or to modify the process after April 28th, 2023, if no vendor has been chosen. In such case, nothing shall prevent a vendor from submitting a new or identical proposal. However, the submission of a prior proposal shall not automatically result in consideration during a new RFP process. In addition, the City reserve the right to accept the proposal (or proposals) deemed to be in the best interest of the City; the most qualified proposal will not necessarily be the proposal with the lowest cost. Further, the City reserves the right to accept a proposal (or proposals) for any or all items separately or together.
Digital proposals should be submitted with the subject line “Municipal Financial Management Software,” and signed by an officer of the company. Digital proposals shall be mailed to the following email address:
It is the responsibility of the vendor to deliver the proposal in accordance with the instructions contained above and/or elsewhere in the RFP. Proposals dispatched, but not received by the City by the proposal closing time, will not be considered.
Pre-Submittal Questions: There will be no pre-bidders conference. Vendor inquiries are to be director to Susan Duncan, City Clerk, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Comparable Agencies/ City Tour: The City may seek to gain a better understanding of the manner in which vendor software has been integrated into the daily operations of other public entities (not necessarily municipal governments), and requests a list of Washington State public agencies that are currently utilizing this software. The City reserves the right to contact any and all of these agencies and may request a tour or conference with these agencies, independent of the vendor.
Award of Contract: The final award of the proposal or contract will be made by the Ferndale City Council. The City reserves the right to request that representatives of the vendor attend a City Council meeting or City Council Committee meeting (virtual or in-person) in order to respond to questions or to demonstrate the functionality of the system.
Contract: In addition to the completed proposal, a resulting contract may be required by the City, including but not limited to: written correspondence between the City and the vendor subsequent to the proposal submission, product literature, or similar.
RFP Amendments: The City reserves the right to request clarification on any proposal or to ask respondents to supply any additional material deemed necessary to assist in the evaluation of the proposal. The City reserves the right to change the RFP schedule or to issue amendments to the RFP at any time. The City also reserves the right to cancel or reissue the RFP without notice.
Public Disclosure: All materials provided to the City by vendors are subject to State and City public disclosure laws. Any proprietary information contained in the vendor’s proposal must be clearly designated and shall be labeled “Proprietary Information.” Marking the entire proposal or any one or more of the major sections as proprietary will not be accepted.
Software Conversion: The City currently utilizes Vision Classic financial software and anticipates that all or a majority of data from the existing software provider will be converted to the new system. The City further anticipates that both software suites will continue to operate for a period of time as City staff are trained and as the system is integrated. The preferred vendor must demonstrate the technical ability to coordinate this data transfer.
Contact with City Employees. In order to ensure fair and objective evaluation, all questions related to this RFP should be addressed only to the person(s) so named in this RFP. Contact with any other City employee, including but not limited to email or telephone marketing directed at any City staffmember is expressly prohibited without prior consent of the person(s) so named herein. Vendors directly contacting other City employees will risk elimination of their proposal from further consideration. Any vendor with an existing relationship or contract with the City may contact the City only to perform required maintenance and updates of existing systems, be they related to the City’s financial modules or another form of software or hardware.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
The City intends to complete the selection process using the following schedule. However, the City reserves the right to adjust the timeline as necessary. Any changes to the schedule will be posted on the City’s website.
Questions regarding the RFP may be submitted to the City by March 31, 2023 at noon. The list of submitted questions with their respective answers will be posted to the City’s website by April 4th at 5pm. The City in its sole discretion will determined whether its response to a question is adequate.
The City reserves the right to make an award without further discussion of the proposal submitted. The City shall not be bound or in any way obligated until both parties have executed a vendor contract. The City also reserves the right to delay contract award and/or not to make a contract award.
Release Request For Proposal March 14th, 2023
Vendor Questions Due March 28th, 2023
VENDOR PROPOSALS DUE BY 5PM April 28th, 2023
City Review April 28th – May 8th
Vendor Selected – Recommendations to Council May 10th, 2023
Council Approval – Contract Awarded May 15, 2023
The RFP Response shall be organized in the following order:
The Executive Summary should include a brief overview of the Proposal. It should be prepared in such a manner as to make it understandable to individuals not familiar with the terminology particular to a project of this type.
2.0 Company Background
The Company Background should provide vendor information including, but not limited to:
List the number of staff members* by primary responsibility:
Marketing and Sales: _________________________
Network Services: ___________________________
*If applicable, please note any staffing expansions or reductions anticipated within the next
twelve months, why these changes may be necessary, and the consequences to the vendor if these changes do not occur as planned.
**As necessary, please describe the manner in which individual employees are tasked with
multiple responsibilities within the organization.
3.0 Client References
Vendor must supply at least three (3) Washington sites that are currently using a similar system requested by the City. Be sure to include the total population served by the government. Please provide: entity name, address, contact name, phone number, and email address. This reference list is mandatory.
4.0 Recommended Software Solution
Describe the recommended software solution for the requested Municipal Financial Management Software.
The Vendor should provide the following Support Information:
Other options for support?
6.0 Cost Summary
Amounts should contain taxes. All costs shall be in actual dollar-and-cent amounts, “Time and Material” quotation is not acceptable. Please break down costs by each product and the associated costs to implement. Provide a separate break down cost and details for recommended data import from Vision Classic software for all applications. Provide a separate break down cost and details for training City Staff. Please note that for the purposes of these calculations, City Staff shall include:
7.0 Terms and Conditions
Vendor shall protect, indemnify, and hold the City harmless from and against any damage, cost, or liability for any injuries to persons or property arising from acts or omissions of the vendor, its employees, agents, or sub-contractors, howsoever caused.
Certificates of insurance shall be addressed to the City. All insurance shall be in effect during the term of the contract. Vendor shall provide the following coverage:
The electronic conversion of the City’s existing data is vital. Vendor must address the conversion methodology, including data needs from the City and the existing software provider (Vision Classic), and disclose all related conversion costs in the cost summary. The Vendor must also clarify expectations for City staff participation in data import and conversion.
Response Preparation Costs
The City will not pay any costs incurred by any vendor in the proposal preparation, printing, demonstration, or negotiation process. All costs shall be borne by the proposing vendors with the exception of costs associated with any City personnel visits to Vendor offices or other client sites.
The basis for the evaluation of proposals received shall including the following considerations, along with the indicated relative importance. Pursuant to RCW 29.04.270, the City will choose the vendor or vendors whose proposal is determined in the City’s sole discretion to be most advantageous to the City. By submitting a proposal, a vendor acknowledges and agrees to these conditions:
In accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act (RCW 42.30), notice is hereby given that a quorum of Ferndale City Councilmembers may be in attendance at the following event:
State Auditor’s Entrance Conference
Wednesday, March 25, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.
Ferndale City Hall, 2095 Main Street
The purpose of this meeting is to allow state auditors to discuss the scope and objectives of the Financial and Accountability Audit of the City of Ferndale for the fiscal years 2020 – 2021. This is an open public meeting as outlined by the Open Public Meetings Act, and members of the public are invited to attend and observe.
The City has a number of Boards and Commissions that work to advise the City Council on a broad array of subjects. These are volunteer positions but absolutely essential to providing quality input to the City’s decision-making process.
There is currently a vacancy on the Equity Advisory Committee, for an four-year term ending December 31, 2026. The Equity Advisory Committee is charged with examining issues of diversity and equity and promoting solutions to the City that help us embrace our diverse community and create a more fair and just future for Ferndale.
To apply for this position, please fill out this application and email it to City Clerk Susan Duncan at email@example.com Applications will be accepted until 5:00 p.m. December 28, 2022.