Closed-Form Management Platform RFP

  • Issue Date: November 16, 2015
  • Closing Date: November 25, 2015

The Office of Innovation & Technology (OIT) is seeking proposals to provide a form management platform for a 3-month pilot project involving the conversion of a number of public-facing PDF forms into responsive web forms. This pilot is part of a larger project where we will be working with multiple departments throughout the City organization.

During the pilot, we will work with two to three departments that have divergent needs regarding their forms, in order to maximize what we can learn. We will convert a number of their public facing forms to web forms to improve the experience of citizen users. During this phase, we do not want to disrupt the departments’ internal workflows. The proposed platform should be capable of accommodating us in this goal.

As we move beyond the pilot, we will give departments access to their data collected through the platform for them to directly integrate into their workflows, potentially modifying both the form and the workflow in the process. Thus the proposed platform should allow us to provide this segregated access to data as well.

The intended timeline of the pilot is from December 2015 through February 2016. If the pilot goes well, we will continue to roll the platform out to other departments.

We realize that no platform is going to be a panacea, but we do have a large number and wide variety of forms and processes that we are seeking to convert, e.g.:

A non-exhaustive example list of features that we have in mind to support these goals includes:

  • Quick and easy configuration of the web forms
  • The ability to collect legally enforceable electronic signatures
  • Rendering form results into a PDF or image template, and emailing or faxing the result (so as to ensure existing workflows can be maintained while the benefits of digitization are explored by the involved departments)
  • Forms that can be styled and embedded in other pages
  • Integration with payment processors
  • External datastore integration
  • A sensible and robust API

Submit proposals to Mjumbe Poe, Digital Services Architect, at mjumbe.poe@phila.gov no later than Wednesday, November 25, 2015 at 5:00 pm EDT. In your proposal, please articulate as you see fit, but in under 2500 words, how your solution will meet our needs as described above.

Please post any questions as a comment below. If you ask questions via email, they will be reposted with the answers in the comments section below so that they are accessible to all vendors.

Posted in Web Design
16 comments on “Closed-Form Management Platform RFP
  1. Mjumbe Poe says:

    A vendor got in contact for clarification on whether pricing should be included in the proposal. Yes, please do include the pricing for the ongoing costs of the proposed solution, as well as special considerations for the pilot phase if any.

  2. ueuniverse says:

    What is the current server technology in use? After the pilot project, which technology city is planning to implement the solution in?

    • mjumbewu says:

      Our PDFs are currently either hosted in Sharepoint (for those at phila.gov), or in Amazon S3 and indexed by some other software (e.g., WordPress in the case of alpha.phila.gov). We prefer the latter.

      If your proposed solution entails us hosting files, we’d prefer to host on S3. If your proposed solution entails us hosting the software, we’d prefer that it be well containerized and ready to deploy to PaaS services. We use AWS and sometimes Heroku, and we like 12-factor applications.

      Beyond that, if your proposed solution entails us assuming some maintenance burden, please make note of that in your proposal.

  3. ueuniverse says:

    Can you provide an estimate number of forms to be converted during the pilot project?

  4. rubenreyes says:

    Hello Mjumbe, can you provide more information on the following:

    1. Electronic signatures: there are different technical approaches and we are not in a position to advice from a legal perspective. Do you have any specific requirements from your end?

    2. Payment processors: do you any specific processor(s) in mind?

    3. API: can you provide your thoughts on what would be the use case for such API? Is this only for accessing submissions, or do you envision other functionality?

    Thank you!

    • mjumbewu says:

      Hey there.

      1) Regarding electronic signatures, occasionally we need to collect some sort of legal consent, so it would be nice if the platform allowed that. Things like ESIGN and/or UETA compliance come to mind, but we may be open to other demonstrably enforceable consent methods.

      2) Regarding payment processors, we use http://officialpayments.com/ to process quite a few payments, so that would be nice. Certainly not a deal breaker though.

      3) There are a number of use-cases I could think of that involve (a) the data itself, as well as (b) the user interface to collect the data. E.g. (and I emphasize that these are EXAMPLES):

      (a) Data API:
      – POSTing the data to some remote endpoint after submission
      – Allow GETing the data segmented based on submitted values for reporting

      (b) UI API:
      – Allow incorporation of custom widgets or validation rules
      – Allow us to prepopulate the forms with dynamic values
      – Allow pausing/resuming a form at a particular place to integrate with other services (e.g., with other payment processors)

  5. jlashinger says:

    I have a question surrounding timeline of the pilot project – in the description you mention pilot testing the software from Dec – Feb. If we were to propose a custom built solution we would need time to build it prior to the pilot testing. Can you please provide clarity and further details to the timeline or are you looking for an out of the box solution?

    • mjumbewu says:

      We were seeking something mostly or completely out-of-the-box, as we realize that the timeline may be aggressive for an entirely custom solution. There is still a fair bit of groundwork that needs to be done, but we’d want to get started on converting forms some time in December.

  6. Hi Mjumbe,

    What is the project budget so we can propose appropriate approaches to meeting the requirements that are attainable by the City? Also, are there any specific proposal requirements, other than the word limit?

    Thank you.

  7. Chris Alfano says:

    It seems like something custom and built in the open might be needed to hit all the goals (and maybe another municipality has gotten a head start on a similar solution), but the timeline definitely excludes this.

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