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Los Angeles Seeks Quotes on Portal, Electronic Billing

In a Request for Quotation, the city of Los Angeles Office of Finance wants more information on enhancing its electronic billing and variable imaging, in part via a portal.

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A financial entity at the West Coast’s most populous city is seeking responses from vendors on doing more with imaging and electronic billing via a portal.

In a Request for Quotation released Nov. 3, the city of Los Angeles Office of Finance calls on companies to submit quotes on “Variable Imaging, Mailing Services and Electronic Billing Communications.” L.A., also the nation’s second most populous city, serves about 4 million residents and covers 465 square miles. Its Office of Finance is the city’s tax collector and enforcer and also collects and enforces permit fees under the jurisdiction of city police, fire and other departments. L.A. has about 475,000 active business tax accounts in its database. Among the takeaways:

  • Los Angeles now makes “extensive use of data mailer” forms to collect money, provide certificates, and deliver information to the public. Each, according to the RFQ, has a “specific purpose with a specific remittance address and is processed and mailed at different intervals during the year.” The proposer selected shall be charged with “fulfilling the processing requirements of converting raw data into finished mail pieces delivered to the U.S. Post Office,” though some forms may need to return to the city for more processing. Forms, per the RFP, are defined in the city’s tax system LATAX as Microsoft Word templates and it would be “desirable” for proposers to use these templates in “defining form overlays.” The city also uses an Internet portal to distribute billing notices electronically to businesses that choose that option. Proposers must also be able to provide an “Internet-based portal for the electronic distribution of mailings to recipients” that choose this method of delivery.
    “Electronically distributed mailings will include any of the form items specified under the agreement for physical mailing along with specific annual mailing items processed by the city.” The selected company will typically receive city data electronically, create the forms, image the data — including a postal bar code — then stuff the forms and mail them. Generally, the services sought aren’t intended to “replace or duplicate, but rather supplement” and backstop the city’s in-house printing.
  • The RFQ’s more specific areas of need include forms redesign/re-engineering services, wherein the proposer must deliver “all consultation and design services necessary to take advantage of current technology available to redesign the forms” for maximum effectiveness and minimum “after-handling” once funds are sent in. Also needed are production services, including executing imaging programs to convert “raw data into imaged mail pieces for all non-electronically distributed mailings”; and electronic distribution, via “Internet-based portal or distribution system.” Respondents must be able to receive an FTP or HTTPS transmission via the Internet and provide a “web-based portal for secure enrollment and distribution of electronic statements.”
  • Among the proposer criteria, respondents must be a “mail services company that can create, image, perform post-processing and complete the mailing of forms used by city departments using variable laser imaging and electronic billing communications,” be able to offer “electronic distribution of mailings through an Internet-based portal,” and have at least five years’ experience in “variable imaging, mail services, and electronic billing communications,” for the business as a whole. Respondents must also submit at least three customer references of similar work done in the last three years.
  • The contract’s value is not stated. The city anticipates an initial five-year contract term, with an option of an extension of up to five years if the city and contractor agree. Written questions are due by Nov. 26, ahead of a pre-proposal conference. Quotations are due by Dec. 20.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Techwire.