Home › Press Releases › January 12: Clarifications on High Commission's proposal for outsourcing Visa Services
Question and Answers in respect of Visa Outsourcing “Request for Proposal” (RFP):
Question No.1: Can we have the month-wise break-up of Visa applications for 2012, 2013 and 2014 across the 10 proposed locations in Malaysia?
Answer: Available details are given in Annexure 1 . The figures provided are purely indicative of the volume of applications. As mentioned in RFP, the Mission does not guarantee the number of applications that will be received at various centers in future.
Question No.2: What would be the likely date of introduction of biometric data capture?
Answer: Biometric data capture for (fingers & thumbs) is already in force. Date of introduction of other types of data capture will be intimated later, as and when decided by Government of India.
Question No.3: Besides the 10 centres that have been specified will the HCI require any more centers and by when as this will need to be budgeted for and factored in our pricing.
Answer: As of date, besides 10 specified centers, High Commission of India does not plan to open any new centre. However, High Commission of India reserves the right to decrease or increase the number of centers at any time in consultation with the designated outsourcing agency.
Question No.4: Under section III 7.f: the Bidding Company must certify that the company and its subsidiaries/partners are not involved in any unlawful or illegal activity including in human trafficking, anti-Indian activities, hawala etc. – can we provide self-certification for this criteria?
Answer: Self certification, on company’s letter head, signed by authorised representative of the company may be submitted.
Question No.5 :Under section III 7.i: the Bidding Company must certify that it has not been convicted for, or involved in, bribery, corruption or fraud - can we provide self-certification for this criteria?
Answer: Please see Answer to Q.No.4.
Question No.6: Under section III 7.k: the Bidding Company must provide certification that its operations are compliant with local labor laws and relevant tax regime. What kind of certification is expected, certificate issued in Malaysia or at the registered address of Bidding Company?
Answer: Certificate issued in Malaysia will be preferred otherwise certification at the registered address of the bidding company may be submitted.
Question No.7: Whether biometric will start from first day of the new operation of visa outsourcing?
Question No.8: There is a mention about deputing a person to manage emergency situation, kindly clarify the roles and expectation?
Answer: In emergency situation outsourcing agency is required to open its office and depute its personnel to its office or to High Commission of India Kuala Lumpur for specific jobs outside normal working hours and on holidays/weekends.
Question No. 9: Please clarify regarding timings & manner of dispatch of documents to the Mission?
Answer: The documents will be dispatched and collected from High Commission of India two times a day, once in forenoon and once in afternoon in secure and locked containers together with staff to provide security during transit and to do handing/taking over at High Commission of India premises.
Question No.10: Website to be operated in English and local language, please specify which local language.
Answer: Website may be operated in English language only.
Question No.11: Delay in sending completed application form with documents – please confirm there will be no restrictions in the number of applications to be submitted at the embassy?
Answer: There is no restriction in the number of application to be submitted at the High Commission.
Question No.12: You mentioned in the RFP document page No. 1 that the High Commission receives approximately 650 visa applications per working day. Could you please provide following details for the last 3 years for each services/category?
Monthly Break up of application count for each of the above services/category from each location.
Application count during lean & peak season from each location?
Answer:Please see Annexure 1 .
Approximately 91% of visa issued are tourist visa, 5% business visa, and remaining 4% are Employment visa, X visa, Student visa, medical visa etc.
Question No. 13:How many applications are received by travel agents and how many applications are received by applicants directly at each location? Please provide us with the monthly break up for the last 3 years?
Answer: Biometrics being compulsory all the applications will be received directly from applicants only. No application will be accepted through travel agents.
Question No. 14: How many applications are received by post and by courier in each location? Please provide us with the monthly break up for the last 3 years?
Answer: Biometrics being compulsory applicants have to submit applications personally at outsourcing centers and cannot dispatch through posts or by courier.
Question No. 15: Pg. no 7, point VI, it is mentioned visa/ passport/ consular application, does this means that the current RFP also includes passport/consular applications? If yes, please provide details on how many applications were received in the past 3 years in respective categories and cities?
Answer: Current RFP includes only visa applications.
Question No. 16:Pg. No 8, point XII, RFP states that Service Provider has to depute a person to make available the applications/documents during weekends/holidays/after office hours to the Mission to deal with any emergency situation. How often are these services required and how many such cases were registered in the past 3 years?
Answer: It is difficult to fore-see how often emergency service will be required in future. As far as we recollect no emergency service was asked for in the last 3 years.
Question No. 17:Turnaround time of 30 minutes per applicant is mentioned in the RFP. Can we have the details as to from which stage of the process till which stage of the process is covered in this 30 minutes duration?
Answer: 30 minutes will count from the time of taking the queue number and completing the service at the counter for the same applicant.
Question No. 18:Pg. No. 12, point I, RFP states –Mission may specify minimum number of staff or office space required. Could you please let us know Mission’s expectation on minimum area of office and number of staff to be deputed in the center/s?
Answer: The vendor has to work out these parameters based on the information provided in the RFP which would form part of the Technical Evaluation. Please refer to clause 11.j (i). The IVAC shall have sufficient space and manpower in terms of waiting area, adequate number of counters and processing area, which would be determined through a factor of number of daily visitors, turnaround time of 30 minutes per applicant, counter opening hours, minimum number of staff required to assist applicants to complete forms etc.
Question No.19:Since the application count is relatively high, we would like to introduce mandatory appointment system to provide better service to the applicant, where in each applicant comes to visa application Center with prior appointment. Will the Mission allow introducing mandatory appointment system?
Answer: No, the applicants can walk into the IVAC during the counter hours for submission of the applications. Application submission by appointment is not currently envisaged.
Question No.20: Does the Mission respond to urgent visa requirements? If yes, what is the percentage of such applications and how are they treated?
Answer: For urgent visa requirements applications are required to first fill up online visa application form, take its print out and thereafter approach consular section in the High Commission personally.
Question No. 21: Will the service provider be allowed to charge additional fees over and above standard service charges to process urgent cases?
Answer: No. Emergency and urgent cases will be processed by High Commission only.
Question No. 22: What is the average daily amount of emails and telephone calls currently received? Will Mission allow call center operations remotely from our central facility in India?
Answer:Indicative availablefigures per day are as follow:
Call Centre facility can be allowed provided it offers reliable services and is open from 0900 hrs till 1800 hrs Malaysia time, on all working days at no additional cost to the applicant.
Question No.23:When willMission implementBiometrics enrolment? Will it be mandatory?
Answer: Please refer to RFP. Biometrics (fingers + thumbs) is mandatory and is being done currently. Other forms like facial biometrics may be implemented at any time (in future) by Government of India.
Question No. 24:Pg.9, point Vof the RFP states “The service provider shall provide monthly certification that it does not hold any personal records of applicants beyond the stated limit.” While it is possible to share the data purging status, it would behelpful if more details are provided for this requirement in terms of what is expected from the service provider.
Answer: Duration of records to be maintained by service provider after the service is completed should not exceed two weeks unless specifically requested by the High Commission. Maintaining safety and security of the hard/soft copies of all applications and captured details of the applicants is paramount in keeping with prevailing laws in Malaysia and in India regarding protection of personal data.
Question No. 25:You mentioned in the Annexure Performa - Evaluation of Technical Bids Grading Companies as under:
I.Numberof years of experience in the fieldof outsourcing for CPV services over and above theprescribed minimum.
In our view, this evaluation criterion is blatantly unfair to companies who entered the industry recently. This criteria favours only companies who have been in the business for over 13years.
II.Number of Indian Missions/Posts presently working with (testimonialsrequired).
Again this favours only 2 companies who deliberatelyquote below cost to acquire previous contracts. We believe thisis unfair to companies that believe in sustainable pricing.
III.Number of Indian Missions/Posts previously working with. (testimonials required)
IV.Number of foreign Missions/Posts presently working with (both in India &abroad)(testimonials required)
In our view, this evaluation criterioncould be seen asunfair to companies who entered the industry recently.
V.Number of foreignMissions/previously working with(both in India andabroad)
In our view, this evaluation criterionis blatantly unfair to companies who entered the industry recently. We feel that the above qualification criteria are unfair and donot reflect a level playing field for all companies. We believe that theevaluation criteria is not in the spirit of fair competition sincethe same companywill always be No. 1 in the technical bid, no matter how much any company scores in the other sections. This gives one particular companya unique and unfairadvantage. While we can appreciate the Mission’sintention to invite large well-known companies inthis field, the above parameters is favoring one particular companyonly.In the spirit of a level playing field, it is our suggestion that the High Commissionof India removes or modifies the Experience Criteria –you could keep some minimum standards so that experienced companies qualify (as most of the other governments have done) but the parameters in the new tender is meant to favour just one company, which is not a fair RFP for the rest of the companies. We sincerely hope that the above objectionsare taken into consideration at your end
Answer: Evaluation criteria will be as per the RFP. It may please be noted that our 1st visa contract was awarded to M/s Grand Lotus and 2nd to M/s IVS; first Passports and other Consular Services contract was won by M/s VFS and 2nd contract by M/s BLS. We cannot predict for future but till date no single Company Has secured our contract 2nd time. It is obvious that the RFP criteria’s enable diverse companies to win our contracts.
QuestionsNo.26: 1. Month-wise break-up of Visa Applications at each centre?
Answer: Please see Annexure 1.
Question No.27: Which is the peak season for receipt of Applications?
Answer: Please see Annexure 1 .
Question No. 28: 3. Number of Applications received by post, in person and by tour operators at each centre?
Answer: Biometrics being compulsory, all applications will be received in person only and not through post/tour operators.
Question No. 29:4.Kindly specify the area and number of staff required for each IVAC to enable us to fill the cost sheet.
Answer: Please see answer to question No.18.
Question No.30 : The banks in India do not issue draft in Malaysian Ringgit (RM).Please inform whether we can submit draft or transfer the amount in terms of USD. If so please intimate equivalent amount in USD. Also please provide following details of the High Commission’s Bank Account.
Answer: Bank Draft in the name of:High Commission of India, Kuala Lumpur which should be payable at Kuala Lumpur for RM 163500 or US Dollars 50,000 (US Dollar fifty thousand only) will be acceptable as bid security. Payment in any other form (e.g. through bank transfer etc.) is not acceptable.
Question No.31:What is the impact of the E-Visa Scheme, is there any provision to revise the service fee considering the drop in revenue for the Service Provider and the high cost of investment of overheads?
Answer: Malaysia is not under the category of E-visa. The number of travelers who availed E-visa for other countries is not available with this Mission and it is not possible for this High Commission to assess its impact at this juncture. Though this High Commission does not have any information at the moment regarding enabling E-visa for Malaysian nationals, Government of India reserve the right to start it at any time. There is no provision to revise service fee once agreement with a particular service provider is signed by this High Commission. As mentioned in answer to Question No.1, the Mission does not guarantee the number of applications that will be received at various centers in future.
Question No. 32:Are there chances of more than one bidder being awarded the contract? In the reference to RFP Clause IV “Award of Contract to more than one company”. What is the procedure for the same?
Answer: The Mission will evaluate as per the provision of the clause.
Question No.33: Would all the centers need to be IVACs or certain centers in the interiors or outskirts can be collection centers.
Answer: It is compulsory to have IVACs centers at Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor Bahru, Seremban, Ipoh, Melaka and Klang. For other centers also this Mission would prefer to have them as IVACs. However, it is for the bidders to factor in their costs etc. and indicate in their bids, whether a particular centre (except Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor Bahru, Seremban, Ipoh, Melaka and Klang, which compulsorily should be IVACs) will be run by them as IVAC or as collection centre manned by travel agent/agency.
Question No.34:Are 3 separate bank guarantees required to be submitted?
Answer: After contract is allotted to a particular service provider, 3 separate bank guarantees are required to be submitted by the service provider as per details given in RFP (para VIII 12 (a), (b) and (c). As per para VIII 12 (d) the service provider will effect and maintain insurance equivalent to the total annual revenue to cover its obligations under the Agreement, including those obligations which survive the expiration or termination of the Agreement/Contract. All bank guarantees are irrevocable and must be submitted at the time of signing of contract.
Question No.35: If two companies on L1 same price. What will be the criteria for awarding the contract?
Answer: Please see RFP, Para XVI .20. f: The lowest quotation would be decided on the basis of the sum of the first three bids as indicated in Para XV.19.iii. In case of a tie, the bidding company graded higher in the evaluation of technical bids will be declared L1. In the event of a tie in this procedure as well, the company which has quoted lower in VAS would be declared L1.