Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Cuban satire revised

On Aug. 27, the Broadcasting Board of Governors sent out an appeal for a comedy team with a proven ability to make fun of Cuban politicians and public figures.
The team would produce 10 comedy sketches aimed at skewering Cuba's political elites, no doubt including Fidel Castro and his younger brother, Raúl.
Today, the BBG revised its announcement, making no mention of plans to lampoon public figures in Cuba. Instead, the agency says it wants to "parody events in the daily lives of Cubans on the Island" and "use humor to entertain, engage, educate and enlighten audiences in Cuba."
The BBG oversees Radio & TV Martí. The agency's new announcement said it is seeking a comedy show that would:
provide some lighter fare to go along with the news and information relevant to Cuban’s daily lives provided by the Marti’s in their regular programming.
The show will ideally be 3 segments with accompanying commercial breaks followed by a formal close with a total running time between 26 and 30 minutes. It should also be easily transferrable to online and mobile platforms so fans can consume content in ‘snackable’ short form segments. 
Changing the language of the notice won't satisfy all critics, and the taxpayer-financed shows still may wind up targeting Cuban leaders.
Whatever the case, the BBG's handling of what would seem to be a simple announcement has been erratic.
Update: The BBG revised the announcement on Oct. 22 and again on Oct. 23.

After posting the initial notice in August, the agency set a Sept. 14 deadline. Once that date passed, the agency extended the deadline to Sept. 18.
On Monday, the BBG pushed the deadline to Oct. 30. The agency reiterated its need for a comedy troupe able to parody "public figures, politicians, government officials, entertainers, as well as recognizable members of Cuban civil society groups" in Cuba.
Then today, the BBG re-issued that announcement, cancelled it, then released its amended version of the notice.
This is America's global news and information machine, the same agency that asked Congress for a $751.5 million annual budget for fiscal 2016, records show.
It's the same agency that wants $30.321 million for the Office of Cuba Broadcasting, a $3.19 million increase over last year.
The BBG's mission is "to inform, engage, and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy."
The agency's 2016 priorities include:

  • Countering Russian Aggression, and;
  • Countering the ISIL Narrative.

Fumbling the satire announcement is minor in the grand scheme of things, but it doesn't exactly inspire confidence.
The revised notice is below:

Solicitation Number:
Notice Type:
Combined Synopsis/Solicitation
Added: Oct 20, 2015 3:12 pm


This solicitation announcement, BBG50-Q-16-1015MD is prepared and posted in accordance with Federal Acquisitions Circular (FAC) 2005-83, Effective 01 Oct 2015. In accordance to FAR Subpart 5.1 is to notify potential Offers for a competitive request for quote, solicitation, issued by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, International Broadcasting Bureau, Voice of America (BBG/IBB/VOA.

(i) This is combined synopsis/solicitation for commercial items prepared in accordance with FAR Subpart 12.6 and Subpart 13 as supplemented with additional information included in this notice. This announcement constitutes the only solicitation; Request For Quotes (herein after (RFQ) are being solicited and written solicitation will not be issued.

(ii) This solicitation is issued as a RFQ Under solicitation number FBO NOTICE BBG50-Q-16-1015MD for Non-Personnel Service. The award will be made using Simplified Acquisition Procedures in accordance with FAR Part 13.

(iii) This RFQ incorporates provisions and clauses of those in effect through Federal Acquisition Circular 2005-82, Effective 01 Oct 2015. The results of this requirement will be a firm fixed priced (FFP) Purchase Order with a Base Term and option for increased quantity.

(iv) This procurement is being issued as a 100% small business set-aside. The North American Industry Classification Systems (NAICS) code for this acquisition is 711510, with a small business size standard of $7.0 M.

(v) There will be one Contract Line item (CLIN) for ten (10) episodes in the base period with no guaranteed minimum quantities purchased beyond the Base Period.


The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), an independent federal agency, is a fast-moving, multi-cultural organization that encompasses all U.S. civilian international broadcasting. The BBG is comprised of the Voice of America, which delivers high quality, multimedia programming in 44 languages to audiences worldwide; the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Marti); the International Broadcasting Bureau, which provides transmission, administrative, and other support service; and three grantee organizations - Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), and Radio Free Asia.

The Office of Office of Cuba Broadcasting (OCB) has a requirement for exclusive, non-transferrable license and rights for a Cuban satirical variety and comedy sketch show for inclusion into its programming. The format will be a 30 minute, scripted satire produced by a team with a demonstrated ability to engage and entertain audiences in Cuba. The show will provide some lighter fare to go along with the news and information relevant to Cuban’s daily lives provided by the Marti’s in their regular programming.

These comedic skits must be able to parody events in the daily lives of Cubans on the Island, and will use humor to entertain, engage, educate and enlighten audiences in Cuba.

The show will ideally be 3 segments with accompanying commercial breaks followed by a formal close with a total running time between 26 and 30 minutes. It should also be easily transferrable to online and mobile platforms so fans can consume content in ‘snackable’ short form segments. The OCB requirement is for ten shows (one 30 minute show per week for a total of ten weeks).

OCB is seeking parodies that will be uniquely funny, ironic, satirical and entertaining to a wide cross-section of the Cuban population.

Specific User Rights sought in order to license content for distribution to Cuba:

1. Satellite rights: i.e., the rights to transmit the program(s) via Agency satellites, as an integral part of the Agency's regular Spanish language programming.

2. Broadcast rights: to deliver the program(s) and the music contained therein (if any) in the following ways: Satellite television, DVD, Internet, and other digital distribution platforms.

3. Reproduction rights: The right to duplicate program(s) solely for the purpose of making Licensee's masters. The Licensee will receive from Vendor/Licensor, broadcast quality master(s), preferably DV25 or DVCAM, with industry standard color bars, 16:9 aspect ratio, split track audio, and countdown.

4. Educational/Screening Rights: The right to conduct non-theatrical, non-commercial video projection screenings of the program(s) before audiences at U.S. government premises.

5. Excerpting Rights: Licensee shall have the right to review each episode upon its receipt, and shall request that Licensor make cuts or edits to the Program content solely for the purposes of either (i) editing any inappropriate content which may be deemed vulgar, indecent, or offensive, or (ii) technical or timing reasons or (iii) in the event that in Licensee's good faith determination, such content may violate the law, or expose Licensee to legal action, which request shall be in writing, shall contain the reason for such requested edits, and shall also contain specific instructions regarding the items to be edited (the "Edit Notes"). In the event that, upon Licensee's such request, Licensor refuses or is unable to make such cuts or edits and return the edited Episode(s) no later than thirty (30) calendar days, The Licensee shall have the right to make such cuts or edits to the Programs, but solely to the extent stated in the Edit Notes. Licensee has the right to create excerpts of program(s) for broadcast, and for promoting and advertising the exhibition of the Programs. Licensor shall edit and provide such excerpts to be used for such purposes. Licensee shall not edit or modify the Programs in any other manner or for any other purpose without first (i) providing Licensor the opportunity to make such edits, or (ii) obtaining Licensor's written consent.

6. Abridgement Rights: Licensee has the right to shorten the program(s) to fit an abbreviated broadcast time slot as per the terms.

7. The right to acquire one copy of the music cue sheets (if any) an/or dialogue script(s), at no additional cost.

8. The Licensee may not sell or provide individual Programs to any source. None of the above-mentioned rights in any way limits or extinguishes the copyright protection of the Licensor

9. The Licensor warrants that it has the authority to grant the Agency the rights as stated above, and that no additional clearances would be required for the Agency described use of the Program(s)

10. All other rights of every kind in and unto the Programs are reserved unto the Licensor except as specifically set forth above.

Quote Submission

Interested independent Contractor(s)/Vendor(s), who are capable of providing these services, should submit an offer which identifies your capabilities as noted below. The Contractor shall demonstrate the ability and experience in providing the required services. Submit a signed and dated offer to the office specified in this RFQ at or before the exact closing time. At a minimum, offers must include:

1. A cover page that includes the name, physical and email addresses, and telephone number of the Offeror; the RFQ number; DUNS number and Commercial and Government Entity (CAGE) code; or NATO Cage Code (NCAGE) number on your quote; Submittal time which should be before or at the time specified in the RFQ YOU MUST HAVE AN ACTIVE SAM REGISTRATION TO BE CONSIDERED FOR THIS REQUIREMENT UNLESS YOU ARE EXEMPT. If you do not have a DUNS, CAGE, or NCAGE, first register for DUNS at https://iupdate.dnb.com/iUpdate/viewiUpdateHome.htm. Next, register for NCAGE or CAGE at http://www.dis.dia.mil/Forms/Form_AC135asp the instructions for US based organizations will take you tohttps://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM). Please select "Emergency" for Block 5 "PRIORITY/PRIORITE";

2. A DVD or video link with samples of Comedy sketches and/or prior work in scripted satire;

3. Offerors shall limit their response to six (6) or less pages. Pages shall include:

a) Technical- (Resume/Curriculum Vitae) no more than two (2) pages. Pertinent past performance in producing scripted satire;

b) Past Performance no more than three (3) pages. Should include recent and relevant past experience for the same or similar relevant services and other references with relevant information (i.e. dates, locations, Points of Contact Information, contract numbers, scope of work etc.).

c) Pricing on a page by itself no more than one (1) page

i. Quote to include the Offeror’s proposed firm fixed price for the ten (10) 30-minute shoes to be delivered over a period of ten (10) weeks (one show per week)

ii. Price(s) for all of the Contract Line Item Number (CLIN) shall be in the English language and in the United States Dollar (USD)

4. Acknowledgment of receipt of Amendments to Request for Quote (if applicable);

5. Period for acceptance of offers. The Offeror agrees to hold the prices in its offer firm for one hundred and fifty (150) calendar days from the date specified for receipt of offers, unless another time period is specified in an addendum to the solicitation.

6. In the event Offerors did not complete the responsibility and certification portion of the SAM registration they shall include completed copy of the provision at FAR Subpart 52.212-3 (Offeror Representations and Certifications - Commercial Items) with their offer. This provision can be found at the following website https://www.acquisition.gov/Far/; if requested by an Offeror, a copy of FAR subpart 52.212-3 will be provided by the Contracting Officer.

All Request For Quotes (RFQ) as well as inquiries should be submitted electronically to Malita Dyson with the referenced solicitation number BBG50-Q-16-1015MD in the subject via e-mail to mdyson@bbg.gov. Please note NO PHONE CALLS WILL BE ACCEPTED.

Provisions incorporated by reference:

FAR 52.212-1 Instructions to Offerors- Commercial Items (Oct 2015);

FAR 52.212-2 Evaluations Commercial Items;

FAR 52.212-3 Offeror Representations and Certifications- Commercial Items (Nov 2015)

FAR 52.212-4 Contract Terms and Conditions (May 2015)

Evaluation Factors

Used to determine the competitive ranking of qualified applicants in comparison to other applicants. The factors are listed in priority order from highest to least:

Factor #1- Technical ability to include work experience, expertise, education and specialized training

Factor #2- Price

Factor #3- Past Performance (referred to in references)

Basis for Award:

The procurement is being conducted under FAR Subpart 13. Best value is defined as the expected outcome of an acquisition that, in the Government's estimation, provides the greatest overall benefit in response to the requirement, in accordance with FAR 2.101. The Government reserves the right to make a selection based upon the initial quote submissions so the Offeror should submit its best terms in the initial quote. The Government may also determine to make no award. A single vendor/contractor will be selected who is deemed responsible in accordance with FAR 9.104-1 and whose offer provides the Government with a best value solution.

All questions regarding this RFQ should be submitted by 26 October 2015, via e-mail and are due by 30 October 2015 Eastern Standard Time (EST) at 2:00 p.m. Responses to questions will be provided no later than 28 October, 2015. Pursuant to FAR 15.305(a) (2) (iv), in the case of an Offeror without a record of relevant past performance or for whom information on past performance is not available, the Offeror may not be evaluated favorably or unfavorably on past performance, and
(x) Offerors shall include a completed copy of the provision FAR 52.212-3 Offeror Representations and Certifications-Commercial Items which is completed by registering in the System for Award Management (SAM) Website at: https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/. Proposals must also include contractor's DUNS Number, prompt payment terms, and correct remittance address, if different from mailing address.


Contracting Office Address:
330 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, District of Columbia 20237
United States

Place of Performance:
Office of Cuba Broadcasting
4201 NW 77th Avenue
Miami, FL 33166
United States

Primary Point of Contact.:
Malita M. Dyson,
Contracting Officer
Phone: 2023827204

Secondary Point of Contact:
Herman Shaw,
Contracting Officer
Phone: 202-382-7856
Fax: (202) 382-7854

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