NOTICE OF INTENT TO AWARD A SOLE SOURCE PURCHASE ORDER
Implementation of Online Training Modules to Rail Learning Portal
The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) intends to award a Sole Source, Firm-Fixed Price (FFP) purchase order to Michigan Technological University, 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931-1295, for the “Implementation of Online Training Modules to Rail Learning Portal.
While it is recognized that there may be other entities capable of developing a system that could support FRA’s objectives to develop and manage online training modules, Michigan Tech (to our knowledge) is the only one that has developed and is operating an eLearning platform geared toward rail. Also, the subject, Rail Learning System (http://rail-learning.mtu.edu/) was supported and developed with FRA funds. The online Learning System is an established platform that uses a learning management system and content developed specifically for the railroad industry, rail academia, and rail-related government agencies. It has been operational and maintained since 2013. There have been over a thousand users registered to use the system. The system already hosts a variety of railway education/training materials.
In addition to the Rail Learning System, Michigan Tech staff has gained additional experience in implementing similar platforms over the last three years with FRA and industry partners. As such, Michigan Tech possesses the required knowledge needed to successfully complete these tasks. Furthermore, they have experience working with FRA to identify the ideal content and delivery methods for an audience with rail interest. In addition to FRA specific materials, Michigan Tech is working to expand the hosting of Railway Engineering Education Symposium (REES) education materials, developed in collaboration with the National University Rail (NURail) Center and the American Railway Engineering and Maintenance of Way Association (AREMA). Michigan Tech has a thorough understanding and access to this specific learning material. Those unique and valuable learning modules will also enhance the FRA learning experience as well as others with an interest in rail. Michigan Tech’s leadership position in both AREMA and NURail makes it an ideal partner to lead the expanded incorporation of REES materials in the online learning system. Development and implementation of rail educational content to expand the existing online rail learning system by Michigan Tech will significantly shorten the delivery of this content and prove cost effective for this effort given the reduced learning curve.
The proposed contract action, for which the Government intends to solicit and negotiate with only one source, is under the authority of FAR 6.302-1 and 41 U.S.C. 253(c)(1).
This notice of intent is not a request for competitive proposals; however, interested parties may identify their interest and capability to respond to the requirement. Interested parties with the capability of meeting the proposed requirements are requested to provide an email to the FRA point of contact, Angeline Behrend at Angeline.Behrend@dot.gov no later than 1:00 p.m. ET, Monday August 14, 2017, expressing interest and outlining their capabilities and qualifications to perform the effort. Such capabilities/qualifications will be evaluated solely for the purpose of determining whether or not to conduct this procurement on a competitive basis. A determination by the Government not to compete this proposed effort on a full and open competition basis, based upon responses to this notice, is solely within the discretion of the Government.