On March 11, MARAD posted a presolicitation notice for contractor services to assess maritime security training courses. The notice is posted in its entirety below.
The Maritime Security training course assessor (hereinafter "Contactor") shall act on behalf of MARAD and the USCG hereinafter (Government) to evaluate maritime security training courses proposed by training providers to ensure conformity with applicable Government requirements. The Contractor shall issue documents of compliance to training providers whose curricula, instructors, facilities, materials and method of instructions conform with applicable requirements. The Contractor shall maintain records that describe the scope of all evaluations performed and track the documents issued. The processes and procedures by which the Contractor performs these services shall be governed by a recognized Quality Standards System (QSS) that will be subject to periodic review by Government Officials. All responses SHALL BE COAST GUARD QSS CERTIFIED.
Responses are to be submitted to MARAD by April 15, 2011.
Some points to be noted include:
1. The contractor will be reviewing both MARAD and USCG security training courses.
2. The contractor needs to be QSS certified, which really narrows the scope. According to the USCG website(3/8/2010) at http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/faq/vso_rule_making.asp, the Coast Guard-approved QSS organizations are as follow: American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), Det Norske Veritas (DNV) and American Council of Education (ACE).
3. Who may be disqualified from responding? NVIC 97-9, Guidance on STCW Quality Standards Systems (QSS) for Merchant Mariner Courses or Training Programs, states, (5)(k), “Coast Guard-accepted QSS organizations must be completely independent of any organizations offering training. Coast Guard-accepted QSS organizations may not exercise direct or indirect managerial or financial control through contract or understanding over any training organization. Likewise, training organizations may not exercise direct or indirect managerial or financial control through contract or understanding over any Coast Guard-accepted QSS organization.”
(Thanks to John Bennett for calling this to my attention and resulting excellent discussion and Steven Sawhill of DNV for excellent discussion.)