Reference Number: 22035951
Request ID:15/89208
Date First Offered06/03/2015
Title:USA Plants, Inc. - database software system

Agency Reference Number:1502
Agency:AGR - Agriculture
Purchasing Agency:AGR - Agriculture
Purchasing Agency SPO:JOHN DEMIEN

Status: Closed


Description and Specifications:
The Illinois Department of Agriculture is giving notice of the intent to enter into a sole economically feasible source contract with Computer Aid, Inc. This vendor sells a Microsoft-based database software for managing licenses, certificates, laboratory testing, and other aspects of the regulatory feed, fertilizer, and seed programs that are administered by the Bureau of Agricultural Products Inspection. This system would replace existing antiquated software systems.

A hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. on June 17, 2015 at the Stratton Office Building, 401 S. Spring St., Room 511, Springfield, IL 62706 and video conference at the Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph, Suite 9-036, Chicago, IL 60601. Interested parties wishing to request a hearing or submit comments must do so in writing and submit their request to the notice contact. Request for a public hearing by an interested party or written comments shall be made by Friday June 12, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. to:

Diana Boshell
712 Stratton Office Building
401 S. Spring Street
Springfield, Il 62706
Phone: 217-524-7020
Fax: 217-558-1399

The hearing will be cancelled unless an interested party submits written comments or makes a written request for public hearing by Friday, June 12, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. to the notice contact listed above.

If a public hearing is requested, the purchasing agency shall present testimony justifying the procurement method. Any interested party may present testimony for or against the awarding of a sole economically feasible source contract. The purpose of the hearing will be to receive information from the public as to whether contract award by sole economically feasible source is appropriate and in accordance with the Illinois Procurement Code. Formal rules of evidence will not apply. Hearings may be recorded in order to aid in the production of minutes. Parties may submit written comments in lieu of attending the hearing. Written comments will be afforded the same weight as oral comments received at hearing. After consideration of the testimony, the Chief Procurement Officer may approve the purchasing agency’s request to contract by the sole source procurement method.

NOTICE: The start and end dates of this contract will depend on actual signature dates. The dates provided below are estimated for the purpose of the Illinois Procurement Bulletin hearing notice.

Key Information

Notice Type:Sole Economically Feasible Source
Notice Stage:
Notice of Hearing

Notice Expiration Date:07/03/2015
Sole Source Only Justification:The current system is used for reporting/recordkeeping of the fertilizer and feed systems that were developed internally by staff 18 years ago. The systems have become unstable and breakdown frequently due to aging. The old system has been modified to the point that there are no manuals for training new employees or reference to address problems. All individuals that have developed these systems have retired and current IT support cannot find all of the corrective code installed over the years making support of the system minimal at best. The fertilizer system alone has been down so frequently this current year that our quarterly reporting and annual reports have been repaired. Internal discussions with IT support staff have concluded that the system is unstable to the point that it may "crash" and the bureau will be unable to meet its statutory mandates and delay of incoming revenue with severe economic impact on funding for the research projects funded by Nutrient Research and Education Council (NREC). IDoA IT staff estimated the cost of development and installation of a new system would be approximately $ 1.5 million.

The current systems are also used for all invoicing of inspection fees for funding the programs. The fertilizer system also invoices fertilizer tonnage fees for the NREC. The feed and fertilizer program will bring approximately $2 million to $4 million annually for the Department and $3 million to $4 million for NREC. NREC is a key component for Illinois Agriculture sector as projects are being funded to address issues related to nutrient loss that will impact water quality. There are increasing federal mandates for water quality in the river system and NREC is a major component of efforts to develop and implement a strategy to reduce those nutrient losses. Delays in funding could severely impact those efforts.

The system offered by USA Plants is used by several (last count 22+ states) with similar regulatory mandates. Communication with those states have indicated a high level of satisfaction with the system with some saying they will add additional modules in the future. The software is free of charge and the cost is for a certified contractor to install, maintain and training for staff. Finally, as a user of USA plants, you are member of a "user" group. As new modules are developed for other states, they will be offered to the other users free of charge. The only cost would be associated with installation, customizaton of all forms to reflect the right agency and training of the employees.

This system is essential for the protection of the consumers of fertilizer, feed and seed in the state. It is used for management of information related to sample collection, lab analysis and removal from the market place if needed. A major need for production agriculture is assurance that all nutrients applied are consistent with what they were purchased. One of the "safeguards" for nutrient management is the Department's ability to sample, analyze and provide assurance that the nutrients applied are accurate.
Accordance with Admin Rule:< Item is patented or copyrighted and only available from holder of patent/copyright

Professional & Artistic:No
Small Business Set-Aside:No

Does this solicitation contain a BEP or DBE requirement?:No

Does this solicitation contain a Veteran requirement?:No

Relevant Category:IT

Total Amount of Award:$160,000.00 (Total Dollar Value Only/Includes Any Renewal Options)
Estimated/Actual Value Description:Estimated.
Length of Initial Term:12
Contract Begin Date:07/01/2015
Contract End Date:06/30/2016
Renewal Terms:0


Number of Responding Bidders:0
Number of Unsuccessful Bidders:0
Total Number Awarded:0

Listing of All Bidders/Offerors Considered But Not Selected:
Source Selection:N/A

Vendor(s) Selected for Award
Vendor NameAmount of Award BEP Goal % DBE Goal %
Computer Aid, Inc.$160,000.000%0%

Notice Contact
Name: Laurie Leuenberger
Street Address:801 E. Sangamon Ave.
Zip Code:62702
Phone: 217-785-5560
Fax Number:217-785-2786

Class Code

Class Codes:




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