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Bidding on government contracts with ChatGPT

Most of us who have spent our entire careers in private industry have no experience with what is involved in bidding on/winning government contracts. So I dug in a bit recently, with the help of ChatGPT. One of my hypotheses is that you can use ChatGPT to make applying for government contracts easier.

1/ I started by asking ChatGPT how I could go about applying for New York State government contracts

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2/ Following the instructions, I went to https://www.nyscr.ny.gov/business/adsOpenMyOpps.cfm and registered as an entity. Once I was able to log in, I could browse for contracting opportunities. When I filtered in the “Administrative/Technical” category, one of the first opportunities I saw was a request for Transcription Services from Nassau County.

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3/ Clicking on this ad gave a quick overview of the service with some preliminary information

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4/ Now, to the RFP. (I’m slightly horrified that this is how our government is run). This is kind of insane bloat, given that I literally pay $10/month for Fireflies.ai for transcription services and can access it immediately.

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5/ Alright, let’s see how well ChatGPT can write a response to this RFP. Note that the RFP already prescribed the desired structure of the response, so I pull that out explicitly.

Prompt
This is an RFP for transcription services for Nassau County. Can you write a proposal submission that follows the following format:

Format:
"""
i. Title Page
Title page showing the RFP subject; the firm's name; name, address
and telephone number of the contact person; and the proposal date.
ii. A brief history and description of the firm submitting the
proposal.
iii. Technical Proposal
A signed letter of transmittal stating the proposer's understanding of
the services to be performed, a statement why the firm believes it to
be best qualified to perform the engagement, the candidate’s project
approach and work plan, a detailed list of previous experience
relevant to this project, the firm's past history in providing such
services for municipalities, biographical information of those
personnel that would provide services to the Town under an
agreement, visual examples of other displays produced by the
proposer and a statement that the proposal is a firm and irrevocable
offer. Such technical proposal must include, in addition to the above,
all information and documentation described or requested in Section
II above.
iv. Completed price proposal attached as Attachment A
v. Fully completed Proposer’s Qualification Statement attached as
Attachment B, including the Statement of Understanding,
Disclosure Statement, Non-Collusive Proposal Certification,
Insurance Certification, Acknowledgement of Receipt of Addenda,
Debarment and Suspension Certification, Byrd Anti-Lobbying
Amendment Certification, Iran Divestment Act, Procurement
Lobbying Certification and Local Business Certification. The
contract will be executed by the Town and the selected candidate
only after an evaluation of each proposal and a selection of a firm.
vi. Statement that the proposer agrees to the standard terms and
conditions for Town agreements shown in Attachment C, or a
description of requested changes.
b. The completed proposal should be sent to the following address in a
sealed envelope marked "Request for Proposals TNH125-2023-
10
Transcription Services":
Georgina Carr
Procurement Coordinator
Town of North Hempstead
220 Plandome Road
Manhasset, New York 11030
B. Guidance on Completing a Proposal Submission
The purpose of a proposal submission is to demonstrate the qualifications,
competence and capacity of the firms seeking to provide services to the Town. As
such, the substance of proposals will carry more weight than the form or manner of
presentation. The Technical Proposal should demonstrate the qualifications of the
firm and of the particular staff to be assigned to this engagement.
The Technical Proposal should address all points outlined in the RFP. The
Technical Proposal should be prepared simply and economically, providing a
straightforward, concise description of the proposer's capabilities to satisfy the RFP
requirements.
All compliant Proposals will be reviewed by a committee that will consider
candidates based exclusively on the Proposals submitted and any subsequent
interviews with candidates and/or additional information submitted by candidates
at the request of the evaluation committee.
"""

RFP:
"""
B. Statement of Work
The Town will require transcription services for various Town meetings and proceedings:
1. Meetings of the Town Board. The Town will require a real-time in person
transcriber for all meetings of the Town Board. Such meetings are regularly
held once or twice per month, with approximately twelve to sixteen (12-16)
regular meetings per year and approximately four to six (4-6) special meetings
per year. The transcriber shall be available to perform services at all regularly
scheduled and special meetings of the Town Board. Please note that each
meeting of the Town Board begins with 30-minutes of open comment that is
not transcribed, though the transcriptionist will be expected to be present. The
Town board may vote to extend this open comments period in its discretion.
Please take this into consideration when providing pricing. Regular meetings
of the Town Board are held in the evening, typically at 7:00 PM, at 220
Plandome Road, Manhasset, NY 11030, with certain special meetings held
during the day.
2. Meetings or Hearings of the Board of Zoning Appeals. The Town will
require a real-time in person transcriber for all meetings and hearings of the
BZA. Hearings are regularly held twice per month with approximately twentyfour (24) regular hearings per year. The transcriber shall be available to perform
services at all regularly scheduled hearings and special meetings or hearings of
the BZA. Hearings of the BZA are held during the day, typically at 10:00
AM, though in rare circumstances, a BZA hearing may be held in the 
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evening. The successful proposer should be prepared for that possibility.
BZA hearings are also held at 220 Plandome Road, Manhasset, NY 11030.
3. Meetings of the Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission. The Town
will require a real-time in person transcriber for all meetings of the Historic
Landmarks Preservation Commission (“HLPC”). Such meetings are regularly
held every other month with approximately six (6) regular meetings per year.
The transcriber shall be available to perform services at all regularly scheduled
and special meetings of the HLPC. Regular meetings of the HLPC are held
in the evening, typically at 7:00 PM, at 220 Plandome Road, Manhasset,
NY 11030.
4. Other Hearings. The Town requires a court reporter to attend and transcribe
all hearings scheduled by the Town. These include 50H hearings as well as any
other hearings scheduled by the Town. Please note that the Town may require
a real-time in person transcriber or a virtual transcriber, in its sole discretion.
C. Specific Requirements for above Required Services:
1. Meetings of the Town Board, Meetings or Hearings of the BZA, and Meetings
of the HLPC. Following each meeting or hearing, the Vendor shall provide the
Town with an electronic copy of the full transcript in both PDF and Microsoft
Office Word and .pdf compatible format. Each proposer must specify the
electronic format they propose to provide to the Town (See Attachment A
attached to this RFP). The electronic copy shall be delivered to the Town within
10 working days. 
g. The page count shall not include the word search with page listing
unless specifically requested in writing by the Town.
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h. Completed transcripts must be returned to the Town within ten (10) days
of the date of the hearing, or at such other time as may be agreed to by
the Town. Expenses of delivering transcripts shall be borne by the
Vendor.
2. Hearings. Transcripts produced from a hearing shall comply with the
following standards:
a. Font shall be Courier 12 point unless otherwise requested by the Town.
b. Margins shall be one (1) inch around all sides of the page.
c. The transcript should be bound to avoid obscuration of the text by the
cover
d. There shall be a minimum of 25 lines per page, exclusive of headers and
footers.
e. The total page count for the purpose of billing shall be limited to the
following:
i. Cover page identifying the Caption for the Hearing, date and
location of hearing, and those in attendance
ii. Report of hearing
iii. certification of stenographer
f. The page count shall not include the word search with page listing
unless specifically requested in writing by the Town.
g. Completed transcripts must be returned to the Town within ten (10) days
of the date of the hearing, or at such other time as may be agreed to by
the Town. Expenses of delivering transcripts shall be borne by the
Vendor.
All transcripts prepared for Town Board, BZA, and HLPC meetings and hearings
may be subject to the Freedom of Information Law. As such, such transcripts shall
become property of the Town upon their delivery to the Town.
D. Additional Requirements
The following requirements will be made a part of any agreement entered into between the Town
and the selected firm(s):
1. The Town reserves the absolute right to terminate the services at any time.
2. The Firm may be required to provide regular periodic status reports to the Town which may
include an initial report and quarterly status reports thereafter. The Firm shall prepare such other
reports as shall be requested by the Town. The Firm shall provide copies of said reports to the
Town’s insurance carriers, or their designated representatives, if the Town so requests. In addition,
the Firm may be required to prepare a report to the Town’s auditors, within the time frame they
set forth, when requested to do so.
3. The firm shall maintain full and complete books and records of accounts in accordance with
accepted accounting practices and such other records as may be prescribed by the Town
Comptroller, including a contemporaneous record of work indicating in brief summary, a 
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description of the work performed. Such books and records shall be retained for a period of six
(6) years and shall at all times be available for audit and inspection by the Town Comptroller, the
Town’s auditors or a duly designated Town representative.
4. The firm will promptly provide a response to any requests from the Town’s Records
Access/FOIL Officer.
5. The firm shall, to the fullest extent provided by law, defend and indemnify and save
harmless the Town from claims, suits, action, damages and costs of every nature, kind, name and
description resulting from the negligent performance of the services. Such defense and indemnity
shall not be limited by reason of enumeration of any insurance coverage provided by the firm.
Negligent performance of service shall include, in addition to negligence founded upon tort,
negligence based upon the firm’s failure to meet professional standards and resulting in obvious
or patent errors in the progression of its work. Nothing shall create or give third parties any claim
or right of action against the firm or the Town beyond those provided by law.
6. The firm shall procure and maintain during the term of any agreement resulting from this
RFP, with a carrier holding an “A” rating from AM Best Company, or its equivalent, and furnish
certificates of insurance evidencing its procuring, the following insurance policies:
(a) Commercial general liability insurance covering the liability of the firm, and
indemnifying and holding harmless the Town, its agents, employees and
representatives from any and all loss and/or damage arising out of the performance
of the services with a combined single limit (bodily injury/property damage) of One
Million Dollars ($1,000,000). The Town of North Hempstead and all appointed
and elected officials, employees and volunteers shall be named as additional
insured on said policy on a primary and non-contributory basis with waiver of
subrogation in favor of the additional insured, as evidenced by the certificate of
insurance and endorsement pages;
(b) Workers’ compensation insurance or proof of its not being required to secure same,
as evidenced by certificates or affidavits approved by the State Workers’
Compensation Board pursuant to State Workers’ Compensation Law § 57(2); and
(c) Disability benefits insurance or proof of its not being required to secure same, as
evidenced by certificates or affidavits approved by the State Workers’
Compensation Board pursuant to State Workers’ Compensation Law § 220(8).
7. The Firm shall be authorized to do business in New York and shall hold any and all
licenses issued by the state, the County or the Town that are required to provide the
services herein.
8. Firms and/or key staff must have experience of at least seven (7) years in the industry.
9. Firms must possess, in its own name, all of the necessary licenses, certifications, permits,
approvals, and authorizations necessary to perform the services being sought.
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10. Please provide three (3) references, including name, address, email and telephone numbers,
whereby the contractor has provided the same or similar services as those requested herein.
Please include at least one municipal reference.
III. FEE STRUCTURE
Each proposal shall include Appendix A: Price Proposal and include the proposer’s fees for the
required services including implementations costs, if any. Please use Appendix A found herein to
provide pricing. Vendors may include additional fees for items not specifically listed on a separate
page. The proposal shall include a description of services offered and pricing for each service.
IV. TIME REQUIREMENTS
A. Proposed Calendar
The following is a list of key dates up to and including the date proposals must be
submitted:
RFP issued May 1, 2023
Last Date for Questions May 5, 2023
Due Date for proposal submissions May 17, 2023
B. Notification and Contract Dates
Selected firm notified On or about June 6, 2023
Contract date On or before July 1, 2023
C. The Town reserves the right, as best serves its interest, to change any of the projected dates
set forth in this RFP, including, but not limited to, the due date for receipt of proposals.
D. The Town anticipates entering into an agreement that expires on December 31, 2026, with
the option to renew for two additional one (1) year terms on the same terms and conditions
including price at the sole discretion of the Town.

VI. SELECTION OF FIRM
A. The Town will approve a firm based on an evaluation of the proposals by an evaluation
committee. The Town reserves the right to enter into negotiations with the proposer offering
the next-best value should the Town be unable to negotiate and execute a contract with the
awardee. Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria and point system:
1. Substance of the Proposal 30 Points
• Responsiveness to and understanding of the RFP requirements
• Clear understanding of the Scope of Work
• Acceptable solutions, management, implementation
• Viable recommendations for approach
2. Relevant Experience of Proposer 30 Points
• Organizational Experience
• Experience of Individuals
• Experience with Municipalities
• Experience with the subject matter
3. Technical Proposal/Completed Forms 10 Points
4. Fee Proposal 30 Points
5. MWBE or SDVOB (provide NYS Certificate) +5 Points
6. Local Business Certification (Nassau County Business) +5 Points
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7. *Presentations (if held) 10 Points
The Town may also consider any other factors it deems necessary in evaluating each proposal.
The Town reserves the right to request additional information, including oral presentations,
interviews and/or Best and Final offers from any or all of the proposers. Upon conclusion of
the evaluation process, the evaluation committee will then select a proposer to be
recommended to the Town Board for review and award.
B. Right to Reject Proposals
Submission of a proposal indicates acceptance by the firm of the conditions contained in the
RFP unless clearly and specifically noted in the proposal submitted and confirmed in the
contract between the Town and the firm
"""

Response
i. Title Page
Request for Proposal (RFP) for Transcription Services for Nassau County
Firm: Elite Transcription Services
Contact Person: John Doe
Address: 123 Main Street, Suite 500, Manhasset, NY 11030
Telephone Number: (555) 555-1234
Proposal Date: May 16, 2023

ii. Brief History and Description of the Firm
Elite Transcription Services is a professional transcription company established in 2010, offering high-quality transcription services to clients in various sectors, including government, legal, medical, and corporate. Our team of experienced transcriptionists, proofreaders, and project managers is committed to providing accurate and timely transcripts while maintaining strict confidentiality standards.

iii. Technical Proposal
[Letterhead of Elite Transcription Services]
[Date]

Dear Ms. Georgina Carr,

We understand the scope of services required by the Town of North Hempstead and are confident in our ability to provide exceptional transcription services for Town Board meetings, Board of Zoning Appeals hearings, Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission meetings, and other hearings as specified in the RFP.

Our firm is best qualified to perform the engagement because of our extensive experience in providing transcription services to municipalities, with more than 50 municipal clients in the past seven years. We have a proven track record of meeting deadlines and ensuring high-quality transcripts.

Our project approach involves assigning a dedicated project manager to coordinate with the Town and our team of transcriptionists. We will be available to provide real-time in-person transcription services as required. Please find attached a detailed list of our previous experience relevant to this project, our firm's history in providing services for municipalities, and biographical information of personnel assigned to the Town.

We have also included visual examples of other displays produced by our firm. This proposal is a firm and irrevocable offer.

iv. Completed price proposal attached as Attachment A

v. Fully completed Proposer’s Qualification Statement attached as Attachment B, including all required certifications and statements.

vi. Our firm agrees to the standard terms and conditions for Town agreements shown in Attachment C. We have no requested changes to these terms.

Please find the completed proposal in a sealed envelope marked "Request for Proposals TNH125-2023-10 Transcription Services" and send it to:

Georgina Carr
Procurement Coordinator
Town of North Hempstead
220 Plandome Road
Manhasset, New York 11030

Sincerely,

[Your Name]
[Your Title]
Elite Transcription Services
Prompt

Can you create a completed price proposal?

Response
Certainly! Please note that the pricing provided is for illustration purposes only and may not reflect actual market rates. You may use the following completed price proposal as a template:

Attachment A: Price Proposal
----------------------------------

Firm Name: [Your Firm's Name]

I. Meetings of the Town Board
a. Regular Meetings (12-16 per year):
   - Per Meeting: $300
   - Annual Total (based on 16 meetings): $4,800

b. Special Meetings (4-6 per year):
   - Per Meeting: $350
   - Annual Total (based on 6 meetings): $2,100

II. Meetings or Hearings of the Board of Zoning Appeals
a. Regular Hearings (24 per year):
   - Per Hearing: $250
   - Annual Total: $6,000

b. Special Meetings or Hearings (if any):
   - Per Meeting/Hearing: $300

III. Meetings of the Historic Landmarks Preservation Commission
a. Regular Meetings (6 per year):
   - Per Meeting: $200
   - Annual Total: $1,200

IV. Other Hearings (50H hearings and any other hearings)
a. Real-Time In-Person Transcriber:
   - Per Hearing: $400

b. Virtual Transcriber:
   - Per Hearing: $350

V. Delivery of Electronic Transcripts
a. Included in the per-meeting/hearing fees above

VI. Additional Services (if any)
a. [Description of Additional Service]:
   - Per Service: [Price]

Total Annual Estimated Price: $14,100 (excluding additional services and special meetings/hearings)

Please note that the prices provided above are for illustration purposes and should be adjusted to reflect your firm's actual pricing structure.