AIP-401: Guidelines for Request for Proposals (RFP)

PROPOSAL NAME:

Guidelines for Request for Proposals (RFP)

PROPOSAL CATEGORY:

Process

TEAM DESCRIPTION:

GM.

I am LiveFast9986, the Community Manager for DAOpunks, author of AIP-269 and AIP-366, and member of the BAY•C AREA APES.

I’m here once again trying to be a good part-time contributor to ApeCoin DAO by helping out where I can and do some good for the DAO and the community.

ABSTRACT:

The following is a proposed guidelines and clarity for the how ApeCoin DAO is to conduct a Request for Proposals (henceforth known as RFP).

The recent ApeChain RFP has brought forth a need to adequately explain the conditions and rules governing how an RFP is to be conducted, under what circumstances, and what the voting structure is.

BENEFIT TO APECOIN ECOSYSTEM:

As best understood, there have been three executed RFPs in ApeCoin DAO History:

It was during the ApeChain RFP that the community realized that we do not have a proper framework and a understanding of the RFP process and that needed to change. As such this AIP is designed to inform the community and those who wish to pursue an RFP the steps necessary to conduct one.

KEY TERMS:

Principal Key Terms
  • Request for Proposals (RFP): A document that announces a project, describes it, and solicits bids from qualified contractors or authors (“vendors”) to complete it.

  • RFP Recommendation: A proposal through which the community will determine if the DAO will proceed with conducting an RFP as described within said AIP.

  • RFP Administrative Template: The template to be used by the APE Foundation that formally announces the Request For Proposals.

  • RFP Vendor Submission Template: The template to be used by any vendor when submitting their proposal for said RFP that has been announced by the APE Foundation.

  • Vendor: A person or a company offering their services. The term “vendor” replaces the term “author” when responding to or in the context of an RFP.

RFP Recommendation Template

PROPOSAL NAME:

Choose a title that best represents your RFP Recommendation.

TEAM DESCRIPTION:

Provide a brief introduction of yourself and your team.

PROPOSAL DESCRIPTION:

A brief summary outlining the RFP Recommendation. This section will be showcased on Snapshot for the community’s consideration and should effectively communicate key details about the RFP Recommendation.

BENEFIT TO THE APECOIN ECOSYSTEM:

Explain how the RFP Recommendation will benefit the ApeCoin ecosystem, and how it aligns with the APE Community’s core mission and values. This section will be visible to voters on Snapshot.

PURPOSE FOR THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS:

Explain any history or additional information necessary as to why the RFP process is needed. What can or will be achieved that can only be done by an RFP that cannot be done through the AIP process?

DEFINITIONS:

Define any words or phrases within your submission that are unique to the proposal, new to the APE Community, and/or industry-specific (optional).

SCOPE OF PROJECT WORK:

Define the full scope of work so that vendors can know and understand what you are hoping and expecting to receive. Include any technical requirements, restrictions, and goals for the project. If necessary, identify any potential roadblocks that may be relevant.

VENDOR REQUIREMENTS:

Describe any specific requirements, if any, for vendors to know and/or include prior to submission of their proposal.

SUBMISSION EVALUATION CRITERIA:

Describe any criteria, if any, that will be used to evaluate proposals that have been submitted for this RFP.

BUDGET RANGE:

Summarize how much money can be awarded to the chosen proposal.

RFP Administrative Draft Template

If an RFP Recommendation is approved, then the formal announcement made by “Ape.Admin”, as discussed above shall make an announcement using the following information from the RFP Recommendation and include the additional relevant information:

RFP NAME:

Use the name indicated by the RFP Recommendation, preceded by the label RFP-X, where X is the current iteration of RFPs that have been conducted.

PURPOSE FOR THE REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS:

Copy the Purpose for the Request for Proposals from the RFP Recommendation

DEFINITIONS:

Copy the Definitions from the RFP Recommendation

SCOPE OF PROJECT WORK:

Copy the Scope of Project Work from the RFP Recommendation

VENDOR REQUIREMENTS:

Copy any Vendor Requirements from the RFP Recommendation, or if the APE Foundation determines that there are to be vendor requirements then include them here.

SUBMISSION EVALUATION CRITERIA:

Copy any Submission Evaluation Criteria from the RFP Recommendation, or if the APE Foundation determines that there are to be submission evaluation criteria then include them here.

TIMELINE:

The APE Foundation shall include a timeline that contains the following information:

  • Date and time in which proposals for said RFP can be submitted

  • Length of time for which proposals can be submitted

  • Date and time of the deadline for proposal submission

  • Dates for community feedback period

  • Dates in which voting shall take place

  • Dates in which second round of voting shall take place (if a second round is necessary)

BUDGET RANGE:

Summarize how much money can be awarded to the chosen proposal.

Disclaimer (optional)

Include any relevant disclaimer as necessary as determined by the APE Foundation.

RFP Vendor Submission Template

PROPOSAL NAME:

Choose a title that best represents your RFP submission.

LINK TO APPROVED RFP:

Link to the RFP to which you are responding.

TEAM DESCRIPTION:

Provide a brief introduction of yourself and your team if you’re requesting funding. If you’re seeking funding, each team member set to receive funds must separately sign a grant agreement and undergo KYC verification before funds are released.

PROPOSAL DESCRIPTION:

A brief summary outlining your proposal. This section will be showcased on Snapshot for the community’s consideration and should effectively communicate key details about your proposal.

BENEFIT TO THE APECOIN ECOSYSTEM:

Explain how your proposal will benefit the ApeCoin ecosystem, and how it aligns with the APE Community’s core mission and values . This section will be visible to voters on Snapshot.

DEFINITIONS:

Definitions of any terms within the proposal that are unique to the proposal, new to the APE Community, and/or industry-specific (optional).

PLATFORMS & TECHNOLOGIES:

A detailed breakdown of the platforms and technologies that will be used, if any.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF VENDOR REQUIREMENTS:

Describe how your proposal meets each of the Vendor Requirements as indicated in the RFP. Please include links to verifications, authorizations, credentials, or any other required fields indicated in the Vendor Requirements section of the RFP. Please also include any relevant examples of previous work performed.

STEPS TO IMPLEMENT & TIMELINE:

Outline the steps to implement your proposal, including :

  • the project’s start & end dates
  • identifiable milestones
  • key performance indicators
  • the associated costs, personnel, and any requests directed to the APE Foundation

OVERALL COST:

Summarize the total budget associated with implementing the proposal; your budget must fall within the range specified in the RFP in order to be considered. This section will be visible to voters on Snapshot.

PLATFORMS & TECHNOLOGIES:

  • Discourse: The ApeCoin DAO forums, also known as Discourse, is the means for which an RFP Recommendation is to be proposed, and for which proposals for an RFP are to be submitted.

  • Snapshot: The official voting mechanisms of ApeCoin DAO shall be used to determine whether an RFP proceeds, as per the RFP Recommendation, and determines what submitted proposal of an RFP shall be chosen.

STEPS TO IMPLEMENT & TIMELINE:

Implementation

  • In order for an RFP to be executed by ApeCoin DAO, the following has to occur:
    • An RFP Recommendation has to be proposed using the RFP Recommendation Template. The RFP Recommendation process would follow the phases of the AIP process, as outlined in AIP-1. An RFP Recommendation entering Draft phase shall be awarded an RFP Recommendation # consistent with the rules governing how AIP #s are awarded.
    • If an RFP Recommendation is voted on and accepted, the APE Foundation will make a formal announcement, using the “Ape.Admin” or an equivalent account on Discourse, using the RFP Administrative Template. The APE Foundation would also be required to set aside the requested maximum budget, as specified in the “Budget Range” of the RFP Recommendation. Any excess funds not ultimately awarded to the accepted vendor are to be returned to the Treasury.
    • A vendor can respond to the formal announcement by submitting a post on Discourse using the RFP Vendor Submission Template or by submitting a Word document or equivalent file to a member of the APE Foundation who will post their submission on behalf of the vendor.
    • If two or more vendors submit a proposal, where each proposal meets all the criteria for said RFP and are eligible to be voted on, then a vote to select one of the submitted proposals will occur. There shall not be an option to vote “Against”, “None of the Above”, or equivalent, as a decision must be made.
    • In the event that one (1) or no proposals were submitted in response to the RFP, the APE Foundation reserves the right to perform any one of or combination of the following: extend the time period for which proposals may be considered, solicit bids from vendors for said RFP, review said RFP and the submitted proposal (if applicable) to determine if there is a need for a resubmission of the RFP to broaden the parameters of said RFP in order to solicit competitive bids from vendors (The APE Foundation can consult with the author of the RFP Recommendation, and if any new changes or amendments are necessitated a new vote to perform said RFP under said new changes or amendments will occur), or award the sole vendor with the contract.
  • The minimum time period in which a vendor can submit a proposal in response to the announcement of an RFP shall be at least 21 days. The APE Foundation reserves the right to adjust the the minimum time period in an event it deems necessary so long as sufficient explanation and rationale is given to the community as to why a shortened period is necessary.
  • The APE Foundation reserves the right to change or modify any aspect of the RFP process as needed.

Timeline

The steps for performing an RFP, as defined in this AIP, goes into effect upon approval of this AIP.

This AIP can be considered fully implemented when the APE Foundation and/or Facilitator team has made any and all necessary changes to existing documentation in order to reflect the steps and/or processes outlined within this AIP.

OVERALL COST:

The overall cost for this proposal is expected to be zero.

As noted in the Steps to Implement, in the event of an accepted RFP Recommendation, the Foundation would be required to set aside the requested maximum budget (as specified in the “Budget Range” of the RFP Recommendation). Any excess funds not ultimately awarded to the accepted vendor are to be returned to the Treasury.

FAQS

Why is there no “Against” or “None of the Above option”?

Previous RFPs have been in response to AIPs or a vote that were decided by the community. As such, because the community voted in favor of the AIPs or vote necessitating the RFP, then a decision must be made by the community.

Why list an exception for the time period to which a proposal can be submitted?

The future of Web3 and crypto is uncertain as laws and regulations are always subject to change. It behooves us to be ready and willing to act accordingly should the need arise to keep the DAO operational.

Why is this AIP needed?

This AIP is designed to provide clarity to the community and guidelines for those looking to initiate an RFP. While we can infer certain rules and best practices based on past precedence set forth on the previous RFPs, it is best to have a set of guidelines going forward.

What happens if only one or no proposals are submitted in response to an RFP?

In the event that one or no proposals are submitted, the APE Foundation must consider and understand why only one or no proposal was submitted. Some questions to ask include but are not limited to: Was it because the RFP requirements were too restrictive thereby preventing vendors from submitting? Was it because the the time frame was too short for a vendor to sufficiently respond to the RFP? Are there enough vendors capable of performing the scope of work as defined by the RFP? These and other similar questions must be asked to determine if the author and the community misjudged the scope of the RFP in order to receive a competitive bid from vendor. It should be noted that it is also acceptable for us to only receive one vendor proposal, and for us to award the project to said vendor.

7 Likes

In principle this is a good idea. We need a defined process for RFPs.

I do caution about describing delegates the same way as say a wallet by an individual Whale, a large corporate holder or Financial Institution. Most delegates are comprised of a large group of individuals, so to suggest a delegate is 1 individual view, like an individual wallet is not accurate.
Also if wallets vote, you can always check the results to see how much APE has been voted and how many wallets voted, though wallets voted is not as useful to quote without deep analysis of the wallets.

11 Likes

In concept I agree with this, although there needs to be a vote prior to RFP to either approve or deny the process. Under the foundational principle of 1 ape = 1 ape, the voters need to be able to express their voice to vote the process down. Perhaps you believe the same based on the statement “in which the community deems it worthy of ApeCoin DAO to pursue,” although that wasn’t totally clear to me.

4 Likes

I updated the note to remove that comment.

I will keep all of this in mind. I’m still trying to find a good way to define “Community” because it’s pretty complicated for us and I want to make sure voices are heard.

5 Likes

I agree when its a community based idea to have it. But there are also some ideas/concepts that are tantamount to the survival of the DAO which shouldn’t rely on a vote IMO (e.g. hypothetical lets say we need a new Cayman Island Foundation, the DAO needs legal representation, etc), these are just some extreme examples of things that a vote isn’t necessarily needed for IMO but are critical for the DAO. I don’t see this specific exception being used often. But happy to get your thoughts on it. Do you think a vote is needed in every circumstance, or just in a majority of them?

2 Likes

We voted in the current Cayman foundation operator Webslinger, as an example. They of course have the ability to then operate as they see fit for hiring lawyers, etc etc. But the DAO needs to vote on these sorts of directional changes. If there’s an AIP that goes up to vote as an RFP, the DAO needs to either approve that RFP, or there needs to be an option to vote it down within the RFP.

4 Likes

Ok. Maybe that was a very bad example. Or maybe not, I wasn’t around for that RFP so I’m not as fully versed in it outside of what’s posted on discourse.

But I see that you are in the camp that any RFP has to have a vote or a none of the above. I can get behind and respect that, I just wasn’t sure if there is an emergency type situation wiggle room there.

1 Like

Maybe that is the carve out. Just add a “none of the above” for emergency situations.

1 Like

Hi @LiveFast9986,

The community feedback period for your proposal would be ending in less than 24 hours.

  • If you’re content with the feedback received, your next steps are to finalize your proposal using the AIP Draft Template.

  • A moderator will reach out to the author to finalize the AIP Draft. Upon receipt of the final Draft, we will review and provide instructions on the next steps.

  • Are you ready to proceed to the next phase or do you wish to extend community discussion for another 7 days?

We look forward to hearing from you.

-@Facilitators

2 Likes

Hi ApeCoin DAO Community,

@LiveFast9986 has requested to extend the community discussion period for this AIP idea. This topic will automatically close a further 7 days from now. We encourage the community to continue to engage in thoughtful discussions through constructive criticism, honest feedback, and helpful suggestions.

Follow this Topic as further updates will be posted here in the comments.

-@Facilitators

1 Like

Agree with this and look forward to see how this develops… :eyes: :popcorn:

3 Likes

So quick update on this (not really popcorn worthy but interesting nevertheless).

I’ve been looking at the previous RFPs that have been performed. Thanks to @adventurousape I now know that there were two RFPs performed previously and have a better understanding of the general sentiment behind both of them (again thank you @adventurousape for your time and assistance).

The most recent RFP was for a Cayman Islands Administrator. This RFP was a result of an AIP-196 that was approved and stated that it would perform this RFP.

However, there was another RFP that was performed prior to this, and apparently done as a result of approved AIPs as well. As disclosed in this (Tweet)[https://x.com/apecoin/status/1550616722809536512?s=20]. In this RFP the Foundation performed an RFP in response to AIP-21 and AIP-22 and selected Horizon Labs.

The takeaways I have from this is that past RFPs have been performed in response to an AIP vote. As such, I will continue this precedence. Also, RFPs can be performed and decided on by the foundation, if an AIP allows for such decision making (as seen in AIP-21 and AIP-22).

2 Likes

Also, in all three RFPs, a decision is being made. There is no “none of the above” option. I plan on keeping that as well.

This makes sense, because if you are soliciting proposals, you are picking from you get. Otherwise what was the point of the RFP.

1 Like

With regards to timeline:

As best as I understand, the Cayman Island Adminstraor RFP had 3 days to submit their proposals.

The ApeChain RFP had 14 days. ApeChain: Request for Proposals

3 Days is incredibly too short. I don’t even think 14 days is enough. My suggestion would be 30 days.

1 Like

Let talk about Overall cost:

Part of me says that this RFP framework AIP should have a 0 cost associated with it, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t a cost associated with it.

What does it cost to draft and publish an RFP, then collect, aggregate all the bids, review them, and then post it on Snapshot? (Semi-rhetorical question).

The ApeChain RFP was performed, to the best of my understanding, as part of the normal and routine job description of all those involved.

The previous Cayman Island RFP didn’t outwardly list a cost associated with performing the RFP.

Should there be an minimum cost requested with each RFP performed? If so, can we determine what is the minimum amount for all relevant members necessary to perform this process? Or should it be baked into the budget/responsibilities of each of the relevant members job description when they get elected into their positions?

1 Like

Hi @LiveFast9986,

The community feedback period for your proposal would be ending in roughly 24 hours.

  • If you’re content with the feedback received, your next steps are to finalize your proposal using the AIP Draft Template.

  • A moderator will reach out to the author to finalize the AIP Draft. Upon receipt of the final Draft, we will review and provide instructions on the next steps.

  • Are you ready to proceed to the next phase or do you wish to extend community discussion for another 7 days?

We look forward to hearing from you.

-@Facilitators

2 Likes

This topic was automatically closed after 14 days. New replies are no longer allowed.

Hi @LiveFast9986,

Thank you for your ideas [and the ApeCoin DAO community for the insightful discussions].

A moderator will reach out to the author to finalize the AIP Draft using the appropriate template.

  • Once the AIP Draft is confirmed by the author and meets all DAO-approved guidelines, it will receive an AIP ID number and move forward for Draft Analysis Review.
  • @LiveFast9986 please see your messages for the next steps.

Follow this Topic as further updates will be posted here in the comments. In accordance with DAO-approved guidelines, if the author does not respond within 30 days, the proposal will be automatically transferred to the Withdrawn category, and the author can re-submit the idea.

-@Facilitators

2 Likes

Hi ApeCoin DAO Community,

@LiveFast9986 has completed editing their AIP Idea to be their AIP Draft.

This proposal has been assigned the AIP ID Number 401.

Follow this Topic as further updates will be posted here in the comments.

Kind Regards,

-@Facilitators

2 Likes