U.S. Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board, Top Level | Published August 4, 2015 - Deadline August 14, 2015
PERFORMANCE WORK STATEMENT
The Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board (CSB) is an independent federal agency with the mission of ensuring the safety of workers and the public by preventing or minimizing the effects of chemical incidents at industrial facilities. The CSB is a scientific investigation organization; it is not an enforcement or regulatory body. Established by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, the CSB is responsible for determining the probable causes of incidents, issuing safety recommendations, studying chemical safety issues, and evaluating the effectiveness of other government agencies involved with industrial chemical safety. Section 112(r)(6)(G) of the Clean Air Act prohibits the use of any conclusions, findings, or recommendations of the CSB relating to any chemical incident from being admitted as evidence or used in any lawsuit arising out of any matter mentioned in an investigation report. Congress modeled the CSB after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which investigates aircraft and other transportation accidents for the purpose of improving safety. Like the NTSB, the CSB makes public its actions and decisions through investigation reports, safety studies, safety recommendations, special technical publications, and statistical reviews.
The objective of this contract is to obtain the services of an experienced chemical incident investigator to advise the CSB board members and work with investigations and recommendations management personnel on issues related to investigation planning, investigation protocol development, assessment of ongoing investigations, investigator development, resource planning, and consulting services as requested.
Work will be performed at the contractor's offices and at the CSB offices in Washington, DC and Denver, Colorado. At the commencement of the project, the CSB Contracting Officer shall brief the contractor on current investigations, available resources, the status of the investigation protocol and any additional relevant information.
1. Conduct reviews of the latest versions of the draft reports (or scoping documents if no draft report currently exists) for six (6) open investigations, with specific focus on incident descriptions, incident causal analyses, and recommendation development.
o Evaluate scope of investigations and methodologies based on both the guidance currently provided in investigation protocol and the contractor's experience.
o Evaluate the progress of each investigation and work with investigation teams to quantify resources and timeline required to complete each investigation.
o Review project management tools based on guidance provided in investigation protocol and in current use by the various investigation teams.
o Discuss evaluations with investigation managers.
o Consult with investigation managers on the development of a project plan for the completion of investigation products.
2. Produce a written summary of reviews, including all comments concerning strengths, weaknesses, potential obstacles, and recommended resources related to each draft scoping document or draft report based on current investigations protocol and contractor experience.
3. Provide consulting services to Board related to draft investigation reports.
1. Written review of each investigation report, including all comments concerning strengths, weaknesses, potential obstacles, and recommended resources related to each draft scoping document or draft report based on analysis conducted in Task 1.
2. Written summary of the individual reviews with a collective assessment of successes and challenges.
3. Memos to the Board on consultation issues, as requested.
The contractor shall provide weekly progress reports to the interim Chair (or Board Member Designated Interim Executive Administrative Authority, BMDIEAA) and Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) on all consulting activities. All information collected or created by the contractor, and any subcontractors, will become part of the CSB case file for the investigation. All written deliverables required by this Performance Work Statement (PWS) shall be in MS Word or other MS Office format.
The work will take place upon contract award. The period of performance of this contract will be six (6) months; however, contractor shall submit reviews for individual report reviews as they are completed.
MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS - KEY PERSONNEL:
In order to be considered for award, the contractor shall demonstrate their completion of the following minimum requirements for key personnel.
• Minimum of ten (10) years of experience in industrial accident investigation and the design and management of investigation policy and protocols.
• Minimum of ten (10) years of experience in the direction of on-site investigation, accident reconstruction, data analysis, root and causal analysis, and preparation of comprehensive accident reports.
• Minimum of ten (10) years of experience in industrial safety programs, which involve one or more of the following areas: chemistry, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial hygiene, process safety, or human factors.
• Experience with intergovernmental coordination and cooperation.
• Knowledge of the regulatory environment surrounding industrial chemical safety.
• Knowledge of CSB objectives, protocols, methods, and assessment techniques used during investigations.
The contractor shall submit an invoice to the CSB for payment. Payment will be authorized upon completion of tasks described in this PWS, receipt of an invoice, and the COR's determination that all deliverables were received and met the requirements set forth in this PWS.
This contract shall be time and materials. The Contractor shall provide fully-loaded, firm-fixed rates for personnel proposed for this contract.
Travel from the CSB's offices in Washington, DC and Denver, Colorado, to the Contractor's facility will be reimbursed at cost based on guidelines in the Federal Travel Regulation, available at www.gsa.gov/FTR.
The Contract shall also include an estimate of the total contract cost based on the tasks as described above, travel, equipment shipment, etc. This will be a not-to-exceed amount for all work to be completed as part of this contract.
Any work performed or expenses incurred by the contractor that are outside the scope of the PWS and/or in excess of the maximum order amount stated in the contract award document shall be at the contractor's sole risk and shall not be paid for by the CSB.
CONTRACTING OFFICER AUTHORITY:
In no event shall any understanding or agreement between the Contractor and any government employee other than the appointed Contracting Officer on any contract modifications, change orders, letter or verbal direction (other than direction within the scope of the COR's authority) to the Contractor be effective or binding upon the government. All such actions shall be formalized by the proper contract modification executed by the appointed Contracting Officer. The Contractor is hereby put on notice in the event a government employee other than the Contracting Officer directs a change in the work to be performed or increases the scope of work to be performed; it is the Contractor's responsibility to make inquiry of the Contracting Officer before making the deviation.
This contract will not create an employer-employee relationship between the CSB and the contractor or its personnel. The contractor will at all times and for all purposes be the legally responsible employer of its personnel assigned to perform work for the CSB. The contractor is solely responsible for determining the methods by which its personnel perform the tasks and produce the deliverables required by this contract, in accordance with the specifications established in this Performance Work Statement. The COR will provide technical direction and monitor the quality of the contractor's performance, but the contractor and its personnel will not otherwise be subject to supervision by any U.S. Government employee.
KEY PERSONNEL AND REPLACEMENT PROCESS:
The Contractor shall provide qualified and skilled personnel to perform the services to be performed under this contract. The Contractor's Key Personnel shall be named at the time of award. CSB reserves the right to request replacement of any personnel who are deemed incompetent, careless, unsuitable or otherwise objectionable, or whose continued use under this contract is deemed contrary to the best interests of the Government. The COR shall give notice, in writing, to the Contractor's Project POC of such need for substitution. Within twenty-four (24) hours of receipt of notification, the Contractor's Project POC shall provide personnel replacement resumes to the COR. The COR shall notify the Contractor's Project POC, in writing, if the Contractor provided replacement personnel is/are approved. The COR will notify the Contracting Officer (CO) of the approval, and the CO will issue a modification to formally replace the personnel. The Contractor shall obtain approval from the COR and CO when the Contractor wishes to substitute personnel. The Contractor's Project POC shall notify the COR and CO in writing stating the circumstances necessitating the proposed substitution of the personnel. In the event a contractor employee is no longer available, CSB will require a replacement contractor employee. The Contractor POC shall provide the COR with resumes of proposed replacement personnel for review and approval at least 15 business days prior to replacement. The Contractor shall demonstrate the qualifications of prospective substitute personnel are at least equal to those of the personnel being replaced. If the COR approves the replacement, the COR will notify the CO, and the CO will issue a modification to formally replace the personnel. The COR reserves the right to disapprove the proposed substitutes and negotiate with the Contractor for an acceptable replacement. No diversion in personnel shall be made by the Contractor without the written consent of the COR or CO.
Prior to commencing performance, the contractor shall be required to complete a confidentiality agreement with the CSB.
QUALITY ASSURANCE SURVEILLANCE PLAN (QASP):
1) The COR will summarize and document the Contractor's performance in the three categories listed below (evaluation based on meeting the requirements of this PWS and the contractor submitted Quality Assurance Plan):
a) Quality of service
b) Business relations
c) Timeliness of performance
2) Surveillance method. Random Evaluation. This method employs a "spot check" style of evaluation and may be adjusted, based on quality trends. The Government retains the right to inspect all requirements of the contract. Unacceptable performance will be recorded and the Contractor shall be required to correct the unacceptable condition within a 24-hour time period. If the Contractor does not correct the unacceptable condition within 24-hours, the COR will notify the Contracting Officer who will take appropriate administrative action for unacceptable performance. When an observation indicates defective performance, the COR will require the Contractor to initial the observation. The initialing of the observation does not constitute concurrence with the observation; it only indicates acknowledgement that the Contractor has been made aware of a potentially defective performance.
Performance under the contract shall be subject to the following additional terms, which are hereby incorporated into the contract:
1. Public Release of Information
The contractor shall submit any proposed public release of information pertaining to his/her work for the CSB to the General Counsel of the CSB for approval prior to release. No such information shall be released by the contractor without prior written approval from the CSB General Counsel.
2. Personnel Security Requirement
The contractor shall complete and sign a non-disclosure agreement as a condition for granting the contractor access, or potential access, to trade secret and confidential business information (See attachment A).
3. Contractor Testimony
The contractor shall immediately report to the General Counsel of the CSB any and all requests for the testimony of the contractor and any intention to testify as a witness relating to: (a) any work required by and/or performed for the CSB; (b) any information or data produced by the contractor in the course of his/her work for the CSB; or (c) any information provided by any individual or entity to assist the contractor in performing work for the CSB. All requests for testimony of the contractor that fall within the scope of 40 C.F.R. part 1611 shall be handled in accordance with the provisions of that regulation.
4. Organizational Conflicts of Interest
a. Contractor, its personnel, and any other person or entity performing work for Contractor on behalf of the CSB, shall execute a certification of non-conflict of interest. Such executed certification constitutes the signatory's acknowledgement that he/she has read and understands the requirements of this clause and agrees to abide by its terms (See attachments B & C).
b. Contractor and its personnel performing work for the CSB under this order should not be placed in a conflicting role because of current or planned interests (whether financial, contractual, organizational, or otherwise), which relate to the work performed under this order, nor should Contractor obtain an unfair competitive advantage over other parties by virtue of its performance under this order.
c. Contractor warrants that, to the best of its knowledge and belief, there are no relevant facts or circumstances which could give rise to an organizational conflict of interest, as defined in FAR Subpart 9.5, or in the alternative, warrants that it has fully disclosed all such relevant information. Additionally, during the period of performance under this order, Contractor agrees to forego entering into any other contractual arrangements with any firm or organization, the result of which may give rise to a conflict of interest with respect to the work being performed under this order. Contractor shall ensure that all agents, employees, and subcontractors retained for any purpose under this order abide by the provisions of this entire clause. If Contractor has reason to believe, with respect to itself or any of its agents, employees, or subcontractors, that any proposed contractual arrangement with any firm or organization may involve a potential conflict of interest, Contractor shall obtain the written approval of the Contracting Officer and the General Counsel of the CSB before the execution of such contractual arrangement.
d. Contractor further agrees that if, after it commences work for the CSB, it discovers organizational conflicts of interest with respect to this order, it shall make an immediate and full disclosure in writing to the Contracting Officer and the General Counsel of the CSB. It is agreed that this disclosure shall include a description of the action that Contractor has taken or proposes to take to avoid or mitigate the conflicts. Contractor shall continue performance until notified by the Contracting Officer of any contrary and/or supplemental action to be taken.
e. It is the specific responsibility of Contractor to ensure that any and all subcontractors, and any subcontractors' employees, are free from conflicts of interest. Contractor warrants that no subcontractors already identified, or any of their subcontractors' employees, have an identifiable conflict of interest. It is further agreed that, in the event a conflict of interest is discovered after award of the subcontract, the same rules for disclosure, and all of the same remedies open to the CSB, described below, remain binding. Contractor further agrees to insert in each subcontract or agreement done in furtherance of this order, provisions which shall conform substantially to the language of this entire clause.
f. During the period of performance under this order, Contractor specifically agrees not to represent, assist, be employed by, or otherwise perform any services or functions for the following entities: West Fertilizer; Adair Grains; Williams Olefins; Chicago Bridge and Iron; Turner Construction Company; Freedom Industries; West Virginia American Water; DuPont; Tesoro; or ExxonMobil; for any firm under contract to construct or operate with the companies listed above; or for the agents, insurers, or successors in interest of the companies listed above (but only to the extent that work for such agents, insurers, or successors in interest would pertain to the accidents described in Appendix A); or for any other entity or individual that is the subject of an open CSB investigation. Contractor also agrees not to represent, assist, be employed by, or otherwise perform any services or functions for the entities listed above; for any firm under contract to construct or operate the entities listed above; or for the agents, insurers, or successors in interest of the entities listed above (but only to the extent that work for such agents, insurers, or successors in interest would pertain to the accidents described in Appendix A) for a period of 6 months after the end of the period of performance under this order. Additionally, if Contractor performs work for the CSB under this order at the site of an official CSB investigation, Contractor agrees not to solicit work at that site from the entity or individual being investigated for a period of 6 months after the issuance of the final CSB report on that investigation.
g. Notwithstanding the immediately foregoing prohibitions, the Contracting Officer and the General Counsel of the CSB may authorize Contractor to solicit or perform this general type of work if the Contracting Officer and the General Counsel determine that the situation shall not pose a potential for bias or unfair competitive advantage, and they approve of the proposed solicitation or work.
h. For breach of any of the above restrictions, or for intentional nondisclosure or misrepresentation of any relevant conflicts of interest required to be disclosed concerning this order, or for such erroneous representations that necessarily imply bad faith, the CSB may terminate the order for default, disqualify Contractor from subsequent contracts, and pursue other remedies permitted by law or this order. Notwithstanding these remedies, however, the CSB may always terminate the order for convenience, in whole or in part, if termination is in the best interests of the government.
5. Proprietary Rights
The contractor agrees that all property rights, including publication rights, in the information and materials produced by the contractor for the CSB shall vest in the government. Information and materials shall include, but not be limited to: progress reports, source data, plans, systems analyses, reports, extracts, test data, and procedures. The contractor shall not publish any of the results of his/her work for the CSB without the prior written approval of the General Counsel of the CSB.
APPENDIX A: CSB CURRENT INVESTIGATIONS
Below is a summary of the subset of CSB open investigations to be reviewed by the contractor. Additional information about each investigation can be found on the CSB website at www.csb.gov.
West Fertilizer (West, Texas)
On the evening of April 17, 2013, a fire of undetermined origin broke out at the West Fertilizer facility, and the community's volunteer firefighting force was deployed. While firefighters were responding to the accident, the ammonium nitrate suddenly detonated. Twelve firefighters and emergency responders were killed. At least two members of the public died as well. More than 200 were injured. A nursing home was destroyed, and two large schools - the high school and the intermediate school - were structurally damaged beyond repair. Financial damage is still being assessed, but the cost to rebuild the schools alone will reportedly approach $100 million. Some reports suggest total damages to the town may exceed $230 million.
Requested Review: Draft investigation report
Williams Olefins (Geismar, Louisiana)
On June 13, 2013, an explosion and fire occurred at the Williams Olefins plant in Geismar, Louisiana. This plant produces ethylene and propylene, which are raw materials for common plastics, and employs over one hundred workers. At the time of the incident, hundreds of contract workers were also present at the site for a major expansion project. The incident involved a large distillation tower that processes propylene, propane, and other highly flammable hydrocarbons. This incident involves a sudden catastrophic failure involving a heat exchanger and associated piping attached to the distillation tower.
Requested Review: Draft investigation report
Freedom Industries (Charleston, West Virginia)
On January 9, 2014, a 46,000-gallon steel tank experienced a leak of up to 10,000 gallons of crude 4- methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHM) with an estimated 5.6% PPH, a poly glycol ether. A significant amount of the chemical was released into the Elk River, a tributary to the Kanawha River and resulted in the loss of drinking water for approximately 300,000 residents in nine (9) counties.
Requested Review: Draft investigation report
Tesoro (Martinez, California)
On February 12, 2014, sulfuric acid spill resulted from insufficient tightening between a tube and a compression joint at a sulfuric acid sampling station. The spill burned two workers in the refinery's alkylation unit, who were transported to the nearest hospital burn unit by life flight. The spill continued for two-and-a-half hours, by which time an estimated 84,000 pounds of sulfuric acid was released from equipment onto the refinery grounds and into a process sewer system. In an extraordinary and rare move, Cal/OSHA ordered the shutdown of the unit from February 18th until the 28th based on worker testimony that the unit was unsafe.
Requested Review: Draft investigation report
DuPont Chemical Release (LaPorte, Texas)
On November 15, 2014, there was a release of methyl mercaptan, a highly toxic and volatile liquid, which DuPont itself has estimated at 23,000 pounds - a very significant quantity. Odors of the chemical were reportedly discernible many miles from the plant. Four workers - including operators and would-be rescuers - perished inside the methomyl-production building where the release originated.
Requested Review: Drafted scoping document
ExxonMobil Release (Torrance, California)
A February 18, 2015, explosion in a gasoline processing unit at the ExxonMobil Refinery in Torrance, CA, led to two workers suffering minor injuries and debris being dispersed into the surrounding community.