American Bar Association (ABA)

Consultant (Request for Proposals Travel Management Services)

American Bar Association (ABA)

Job Description

The American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) is soliciting proposals for professional services from qualified Ugandan, Tanzanian, and Kenyan travel agencies with the ability to arrange travel in and around the East African region.

ABA ROLI hereby invites you to submit a Proposal to this Request for Proposal (RFP).

Please submit any questions you have regarding the specifications by February 1, 2021, by 11:59 p.m Eastern Standard Time (EST). You may email your questions to: Final bids are due by February 8, 2021 at 11:59 PM EST. Due to ABA ROLI looks forward to receiving your Proposal. We appreciate your interest in ABA ROLI’s procurement opportunities.

Table of Contents

Bid Timetable [2]

1.0 General Bid Information [2]

2.0 Proposal Requirements [5]

3.0 Selection [6]

Bid Timetable. The ABA will make every effort to adhere to the following schedule:




RFP submitted for posting on the ABA website* and distributed via e-mail to selected bidders and/or through ABA ROLI networks in Uganda/Tanzania *Please note the RFP posted on the ABA website shows a different timetable due to posting delays.

ABA January 25, 2021 Deadline to submit clarifying questions via e-mail to Bidders; Unsolicited Bidders February 1, 2021 Deadline to answer clarifying questions ABA February 5, 2021 Proposals must be submitted electronically to by 11:59 PM EST.

Bidders February 8, 2021 Review is completed and finalists are notified ABA Estimated: February 12, 2021 1.0 General Information

1.1 Purpose. The American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative is interested in receiving pricing for travel management services included in this RFP and is requesting proposals from qualified travel management services. ABA ROLI requests that all agencies examine the specific requirements contained in this RFP and prepare your responses pursuant to the terms of this RFP.

1.2 Issuing Department. The Rule of Law Initiative has issued this RFP on behalf of the American Bar Association. Please address all inquiries to the sole point of contact in the ABA for this RFP: Siddharth Divakaruni, Program Associate, American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative.

1.3 Type of Services.

ABA is seeking a Uganda, Tanzania, or Kenya-based travel management service provider, which can deliver the following tasks for travel destinations in and around Uganda, Tanzania, and potentially other countries in East Africa · Make airline and hotel bookings on the shortest notice · Send tickets, itineraries, quotes, confirmations, and reservations via e-mail directly through · Provide information on visa requirements and other documentation as needed · Assist with booking conference facilities at hotels · Preferred: 24/7 service through common communication methods (email, chats, internet, phone, etc.) to accommodate requests made outside of working hours.

  1. Ability to provide the best options and prices
· Provide best overall solution to travel needs · Offer should be very competitive technically and financially · Give discounts (re repeat booking or bulk discounts) · Ability to provide multiple/various quotes for a single trip when available · Assistance in proposal development (re: ticket and travel cost estimates, etc.)
  1. Product Knowledge
· Accreditation · Well versed with the industry to offer the best advice of what to book and where · Customer support department well versed with its operations and industry
  1. Good Reputation
· Quality assurance · Billing done in timely manner to give customer time to pay · Invoicing & payment by wire should be the main source of payment (as opposed to company credit card payment) 1.4 Type of Contract. The contract needs to comply with the ABA Contract Policy and will be reviewed by the ABA’s General Counsel’s Office. ABA entities do not have separate legal standing to enter into oral or written contracts in their own names. All contracts are entered into on behalf of the ABA. ABA, in its sole discretion, may undertake negotiations with Bidders whose proposal, in its judgment, show them to be qualified, responsible and capable of performing the project or providing the goods. ABA ROLI has the right to select the number of final bidders and the right to use one or more companies to meet its requirements. Only staff authorized by the ABA Director" id="link" class="link">Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer has authority to execute contractual agreements on behalf of the ABA. ** 1.5 Rejection of Proposals. The ABA reserves the right, in its sole and complete discretion, to reject any proposal received in response to this RFP. ABA reserves the right to reject all offers, to waive technicalities, and to pursue procurement in a manner that is in the best interests of the organization.

1.6 Incurring Costs. The ABA is not liable for any costs the Bidder incurs in preparation and submission of its proposal, in participating in the RFP process or in anticipation of the award of the contract.

1.7 Questions & Answers. If a Bidder has any questions regarding this RFP, the Bidder must submit the questions by email to the issuing employee named in Section 1.2 of the RFP. Questions should be submitted no later than the date indicated on the Bid Timetable. The Bidder shall not attempt to contact the issuing employee by any other means.

1.9 Response Date. To be considered for selection, electronic submissions must arrive to the issuing employee on the date specified in the RFP Bid Timetable. Bidders who send proposals by mail or other delivery service should allow sufficient delivery time to ensure timely receipt of their proposals.

1.10 Proposals. To be considered, Bidders should submit a complete and exact electronic response to this RFP via e-mail, according to the Proposal Requirements in Section 2.0. Paper submissions will not be considered. The Bidder shall make no other distribution of its proposal to any other Bidder or ABA employee or ABA consultant. An official authorized to bind the Bidder to its provisions must sign the proposal. For this RFP, the proposal must remain valid for 45 days taking into consideration time required for evaluation of proposals and processing of the contract or until a contract is fully executed. If the Issuing employee selects the Bidder’s proposal for award, the contents of the selected Bidder’s proposal will become, except to the extent the contents are changed through Best and Final Offers or negotiations, contractual obligations.

1.11 Minority, Women and Disadvantaged Business Information: The ABA encourages participation by minority, women, and small disadvantaged and disabled veteran businesses as prime contractors, joint ventures, and subcontractors/suppliers. MWBE Businesses are businesses that are owned or controlled by a Minority and Women owned business that have a 51% ownership. The Bidder must provide documentation from a certifying agency, state and federal certification that they are a certified minority or women owned business.

1.12 Discussions for Clarification. Bidders may be required to make an oral or written clarification of their proposals to the issuing employee to ensure thorough mutual understanding and Bidder responsiveness to the solicitation requirements. The issuing employee will initiate requests for clarification.

1.13 Prime Contractor Responsibilities. The contract will require the selected Bidder to assume responsibility for all services offered in its proposal whether it produces them itself or by subcontract. The issuing employee will consider the selected Bidder to be the sole point of contact with regard to contractual matters.

1.14 Proposal Contents. Bidders should not label proposal submissions as confidential or proprietary. The issuing employee will hold all proposals in confidence and will not reveal or discuss any proposal with competitors for the contract, unless disclosure is required:** a. Under the provisions of any State or United States statute or regulation; or b. By rule or order of any court of competent jurisdiction.

All material submitted with the proposal becomes the property of the ABA and may be returned only at the issuing employee’s option. The issuing employee, in its sole discretion, may include any person other than competing Bidders on its proposal evaluation committee. The issuing employee has the right to use any or all ideas presented in any proposal regardless of whether the proposal becomes part of a contract.

1.15 Best and Final Offers. The issuing employee reserves the right to conduct discussions with Bidders for obtaining “best and final offers.” To obtain best and final offers from Bidders, the issuing department may do one or more of the following: enter into pre-selection negotiations, including schedule oral presentations and request revised proposals.

1.16 Term of Contract. The term of the contract will be determined upon review of eligible proposals. The issuing employee will set the effective date after the contract has been fully executed by the selected Bidder and by the ABA. The selected Bidder shall not start the performance of any work prior to the effective date of the executed contract and the ABA shall not be liable to pay the selected Bidder for any service or work performed or expenses incurred before the effective date of the contract.

The contract is not considered approved until the terms have been reviewed and approved by the Office of General Counsel. An “American Bar Association Office of General Counsel” approval stamp will appear on the contract with the signature of the attorney approving the terms of the contract.

1.17 Use of Electronic Versions of this RFP. This RFP is being made available by electronic means. If a Bidder electronically accepts the RFP, the Bidder acknowledges and accepts full responsibility to ensure that no changes are made to the RFP.

2.0 Proposal Requirements

Uganda-based travel management service providers are encouraged to respond to this RFP. Bidders must submit their proposals to the Issuing Employee named in Section 1.2 in the format outlined in Section 2.1. Each proposal should provide a straightforward, concise description of the Bidder’s ability to meet the requirements of this RFP. Proposals should not contain unsolicited, extraneous or duplicative information. Proposals must be based solely on the requirements contained in this RFP.

To be considered, proposals must provide the Bidder name, mailing address, website (if available), the name of a Bidder Contact Person, Contact Person’s email address, and Contact Person’s phone number. Failure to provide this information may result in the rejection of the bidder’s proposal.

2.1 Proposal Questions. Below are questions to be included in Bidders’ proposal submission. Bidders should please clearly reference the questions in their proposals.

A) Agency Profile
  1. Describe your agency experience servicing non-profit, grant-funded and/or international organizations.
  2. Describe your agency experience servicing clients required to comply with United States governmental travel regulations, including the Fly America Act.
  3. What are the standard days/hours of operation of your agency?
  4. Describe your 24-hour Emergency service and your ability to assist travelers domestically and internationally between Uganda, Tanzania, etc.?
  5. Is your emergency service guaranteed? If so, how?
B) Services
  1. As a travel agency, are you able to provide all of these services: air, hotel, visa, car, train, other?
  2. List the primary individual(s) who will be responsible for managing the ABA’s account.
  3. How does your agency compile and maintain profiles for the ABA’s travelers?
  4. How does your agency handle the issuance of paper tickets (when needed/requested)?
  5. How does your agency handle last-minute changes or cancellations to reservations (are there additional fees charged by the agency, etc.)?
  6. How will you inform the ABA of breaking industry news, security advisories and market updates?
  7. What is the process of resolving customer service issues?
  8. Describe your ability to manage unused ticket inventories for both traditional and online transactions.
  9. As applicable, what additional services and benefits is your agency able to provide?
  10. How has your agency adapted its services to accommodate for/provide information to passengers on Covid-19-related travel restrictions and requirements?
C) Reservation Process
  1. What systems/procedures/tools are in place to streamline the telephone reservation process and reduce handling time?
  2. What is the process for traveler profile maintenance particularly when changes are made via telephone, email and/or the web?
  3. Describe your ability to provide special airline, car, and hotel services for travelers, including seat clearance in preferred seating areas, automated frequent flyer upgrade processing and upgrades on selected vendors.
  4. Describe preferred vendor relations for airline, car, and hotel agreements providing an overview of existing preferred vendor programs.
D) Billing
  1. How does your agency allocate transaction fees to different lines of business, company departments, and/or projects?
  2. Does your agency offer billing options based on invoices, rather than direct charges to company credit cards?
  3. Does your agency customize invoices to include budget coding?
  4. Explain your process for voids, debit memos and refunds. What is the turnaround time for each? How and when do you notify us of the progress and ultimate resolution?
  5. Provide a brief overview of your pricing philosophy and strategy.
  6. How do you define transaction fee? Specifically address traditional versus online transactions.
2.2 Agency Corporate Information. Agency must submit a complete and detailed description of its corporate information. Agency is required to demonstrate corporate experience, technical capability to perform services, and the financial means to support the contract.

Agency must respond to all the requirements below: · Name and address of the agency submitting the proposal including telephone, fax numbers and email addresses. etc.? · Type of business entity (i.e., corporation, partnership, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, sole proprietorship). If a corporation, include place of incorporation.

· Number of years agency has been providing the types of services specified in this RFP.

· What is agency’s total number of employees? · Provide the agency’s latest annual financial report or copy of external audit.

· Provide agency’s net revenue for the last three (3) years.

2.4 Bidder Contact Information. An official authorized to bind the Bidder to its provisions must complete and sign the following Bidder contact information table as part of the proposal.

Name of Agency/Company:

Contact Person:

Mailing Address:



Email Address:


3.0 Selection

3.1 Mandatory Responsiveness Requirements. To be eligible for selection, a proposal must: a. Be received according to dates set in the Bid Timetable; b. Be properly signed by a representative of the Bidder who is eligible to bind them in contract with the ABA; Be in accordance with all instructions as set forth in Sections 1 and 2.

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