The top three reasons to use the NASPO ValuePoint contract for language services including telephonic interpretation, document translation, and video remote interpretation are: it is the highest quality contract you can use, it has the most competitive pricing, and it is very easy to implement and start receiving services.
What is NASPO ValuePoint?
See definition below form the NASPO ValuePoint website.
“NASPO ValuePoint is the cooperative contracting arm of the National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO) a non-profit organization formed in 1947, comprised of the Chief Procurement Officials of all fifty states, Washington D.C. and the U.S. Territories; to promote public procurement throughout the country. NASPO ValuePoint facilitates administration of the NASPO cooperative group contracting consortium of state Chief Procurement Officials for the benefit of state departments, institutions, agencies, and political subdivisions; as well as other eligible entities including cities, counties, special districts, community colleges, universities, and some quasi-governmental and nonprofit organizations.
NASPO ValuePoint master agreements are competitively solicited using a Lead State™ model, supported by a Sourcing Team™ comprised of multiple state procurement representatives and subject matter experts; leveraging the expertise and buying power of the many states and other participating entities.” 1
1. Highest Quality Contract
The NASPO ValuePoint cooperative uses a stringent, standardized process for determining which vendors are capable of providing the highest quality. Language service providers (LSPs) are not allowed to participate in the bid process unless they meet the following minimum technical criteria:
• Two years’ experience providing language services
• Currently providing at least 100,000 minutes per month of Over-the-Phone Interpretation services
• Consistently produce high-quality error-free document translation
• Provide third-party calls at no charge
• Answer 95% of calls within five seconds
• Connect callers to interpreters in an average of 30 seconds
• Agree to penalties for not meeting connect time requirements
• Submit monthly and quarterly reporting
• Maintain an emergency management plan
• Create and adhere to a quality assurance plan
• Provide all clients with complimentary instructional materials
Once an LSP can verify that they are able to satisfactorily meet the technical requirements noted above, they are required to write a full proposal outlining your experience, infrastructure, staff qualifications, processes, and quality assurance procedures. Vendors must then have existing customers submit reference documents directly to NASPO ValuePoint with specific information outlining their experience with the vendor. This ensures that references are relevant and related to the services being offered. The final piece of the application process consists of NASPO ValuePoint making an unannounced Over-the-Phone Interpretation test call to ensure the vendor can in fact offer a quality language service within the required connection time. This long and detailed process guarantees that any company receiving a NASPO ValuePoint contract is a top-level company that provides quality services.
2. Quick and Easy Signup
Writing Requests for Proposals and Quotes costs time and money and can be a long and labor-intensive process. Fortunately, NASPO ValuePoint has done the preliminary work for you. Your state procurement officers no longer need to spend many months writing their own solicitations and going through the long process of selecting a vendor. Instead, procurement officers can sign a one page Participating Amendment (PA) to piggyback off the original solicitation. Each state can then incorporate their own terms and conditions into their PA as needed.
Once this contract is fully executed, each entity within the state can complete a form online and have an account ready for use within one business day. This process means that state agencies don’t have to negotiate their own contracts. Many state entities have very little volume and it is not worth their time to write a solicitation, compare bids, and test the services. The NASPO ValuePoint contract allows a state agency to sign up in one business day and to get service right away when they need it. Once the service is up and running, the agency can request a translation quote or pick up the phone and access a telephonic interpreter on demand.
3. Most Competitive Pricing
The NASPO ValuePoint contract has very competitive pricing. The contract pricing is based on the potential each vendor has to service entities in all fifty states. This allows vendors to account for huge economies of scale when bidding these contracts. However, when an individual state entity goes out for bid, they cannot provide the same level of volume, and thus are likely to be provided much higher rates. This can really impact lower volume states or individual agencies within a state that may not have as much usage. NASPO ValuePoint allows all government entities to take advantage of low rates with all-inclusive services. Some of the benefits of the contract for translation and interpretation are:
• No minimum usage charges
• No set up fees
• No varied rates based on each individual entity’s volume
• No charges for reporting
• No charges for third party calling
• Low minimum project fees
• Fixed competitive pricing
If you are a state procurement officer and have not signed a participating amendment, call us today! If you work at a state agency and want to take advantage of this quality contract that is easy to use and has competitive pricing, contact your state procurement officer to get them started on the process of implementing a participating amendment.