Requests For Proposal

Request for Proposal: Damage Information Reporting Tool Analysis and Reporting of Data 

05-02-2022 08:31 AM


The Common Ground Alliance (CGA) seeks to engage one or more professional services contractors to assist in the analysis of data relating to excavation-related damages to underground facilities in the United States & Canada. 

CGA is a non-profit organization that receives financial support from the owners of underground utilities (oil and gas pipelines, electrical power lines, water systems, telecommunications lines, cable television systems and others), excavators, one call centers, equipment manufacturers, the insurance industry, state utility regulatory agencies, and the federal government through the U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA).

CGA was created, in part, to promote the concept that damage prevention is a shared responsibility and that it is in the public interest to ensure the safety, environmental protection and utility service reliability of underground facilities. Damage to underground utilities can result in deaths and injuries, damage to property and the environment, utility service interruptions and societal disruptions due to evacuations and road closures.

In order to fully understand the complex issues surrounding underground facility damages on a national scale, thorough analysis of a large volume of data is required. The primary purpose in collecting and analyzing underground facility event data is to identify the factors that contribute to damages, and what actions could prevent them in the future. Data collection enables the CGA to identify root causes, perform trend analysis, and help educate all stakeholders so that damages can be reduced through effective education, public awareness and industry standards or practices.

The CGA has developed a Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) – a secure web application for the collection and reporting of underground damage information. The DIRT system allows users to submit damage-event reports (as well as near-miss-event reports) and is open to all stakeholders in the United States and Canada. The system is designed to be unbiased, anonymous and confidential. Users from one organization or company do not have access to the data of another parties without permission, although there are provisions for voluntary data sharing. As confidentiality and anonymity of data submitters is of utmost importance, execution of a confidentiality agreement will be required of the successful bidder(s).

CGA produces an annual “DIRT Report.”  Examples of past reports can be accessed at:

The written DIRT reports are also supplemented by an on-line (Power-BI) dashboard that allows users to filter and sort on the aggregated data, while still maintaining the confidentiality of the data submitters.  The dashboard can be accessed at:

In February 2021 CGA released a report on its “Next Practices Initiative” which provides some additional background and context related to issues addressed in this RFP.


The CGA is seeking one or more professional services contractors to analyze and report on several issues relating to excavation damage to buried utilities, as listed below under DELIVERABLES. Prior experience in the damage prevention industry would also be helpful.  The deliverables described below will be provided to CGA and key findings will be included in the 2021 DIRT Report, and/or published as separate stand-alone reports. Bidders may submit a proposal to address one, all, or a combination of the deliverables.

Successful bidders will be expected to work cooperatively with CGA Staff, volunteer members of CGA Committees, and any other professional service contractors working on other areas of the DIRT report.  The bidder(s) should anticipate attendance of 3 to 5 conference calls of approximately one hour duration, responding to emails and telephone calls from the CGA in connection with the Scope of Work, and being available following completion of the project for a CGA member webinar presenting the highlights of the analysis.

Although not currently anticipated, the bidder should submit their daily rate to attend in-person meetings should that process be necessary. The CGA would pay any reasonable travel costs associated with such meetings.



For each deliverable listed below, bidders will be expected to provide a report to CGA describing the methodology, analysis, results, conclusions, and recommendations, as well as supporting exhibits, charts and graphics.  As outlined above, bidders may submit a proposal to address one, all, or a combination of the deliverables included below.

  1. Estimated total number of damages across the United States, with context related to trends and metrics. In the 2020 DIRT report, see the section labelled “Estimating Total U.S. Damages” and Appendix C for an explanation of the methodology employed since the 2017 annual DIRT Report. CGA is specifically interested in alternative approaches in order to compare methods. Bidders should plan to apply any alternate method over the same time period: 2017 to 2021 data sets.
  2. Economic analysis (cost-benefit with sensitivity analysis) of the damage root cause “excavator dug prior to verifying marks by test-hole (pothole).” Examine the cost of damages caused by failure to pothole versus the cost of performing potholing (including restoration of asphalt), leading to a ratio of dollars saved per dollar invested.
  3. Develop a method to represent data visually/graphically from states based on quantity, quality and diversity of sources. Submission of DIRT data is voluntary and varies by state. Therefore, states with high numbers of DIRT damage reports may not actually be performing relatively poorer than states with lower numbers.  However, this dynamic can create disincentives to additional DIRT reporting from states that already have relatively robust reporting. The intent of this deliverable is to overcome such disincentives for high-reporting states and motivate low-reporting states to increase reporting.


The following is a general schedule intended to give bidders a sense of CGA expectations for the project. The schedule is subject to slight modifications. It is anticipated that the successful bidder(s) will have frequent interaction, via meetings or conference calls, throughout the process with members of the CGA staff and committee who will provide input, oversight, and guidance.

Draft schedule – Subject to Modifications:*

  • June 15, 2022: Kick off meeting with selected consultant. 2021 DIRT data set provided to the consultant(s). Note that consultants will need to independently research and obtain external/complementary data sources.
  • June 30, 2022: Final approach/timeline approved by CGA.
  • July 15, 2022: Status report and initial findings submitted to CGA.
  • August 15, 2022: Analysis complete and final report delivered to CGA.*

*  This draft schedule is provided as a guideline.  If you plan to recommend a process/methodology that will require additional time, please include a description of the proposed timing in your response. Submitters may propose to modify this schedule if they believe it is necessary in order to produce good-quality deliverable(s).


For Additional Information, bidders may register within the DIRT test environment – At this site, bidders can obtain the offline field form, bulk upload specification, DIRT User’s Guide.

To express an interest in becoming the contractor for this Scope of Work, please submit the following:

  • A statement of capabilities relative to the deliverables as described above.
  • A description of any relevant prior experience. CGA may request contact information for references.
  • An outline of the intended approach to the Scope of Work, including a proposed schedule with key milestones.
  • A description of the proposed methodology for each deliverable. CGA will provide DIRT data to the consultant(s), and facilitate calls/meetings with some of our member subject-matter experts (SME). However, the successful bidder should expect to supplement that with additional data sources, surveys, interviews with other SME’s, etc.
  • An outline of pricing and proposed billing method for the Scope of Work in the form of one of the following: hourly rate, monthly retainer with minimum hours, combination structure, or flat rate. It is the expectation of the CGA that the proposal shall have a project price which consultant agrees not to exceed for performing the Scope of Work. If the CGA requires consultant to travel in connection with the performance of the scope of work, CGA shall reimburse consultants for all reasonable travel costs. Consultant shall in its proposal include a per day rate in the event CGA desires to have consultant perform services on that basis or to travel to attend meetings in connection with performing the Scope of Work.

The successful bidder shall enter into a written agreement with the CGA encompassing this RFP and the proposal submitted subject to CGA's standard contract terms.  The successful bidder shall also assign all intellectual property rights to deliverables, including, without limitation, copyrights, to the CGA in accordance with the attached contract terms. 


Submitting Proposals

Proposals must be submitted electronically by June 3, 2022, at 5:00PM (Eastern).

Submit an electronic copy of your proposal here.

Questions:  Send any questions related to the scope of work or RFP to  Please specify “DIRT RFP” in the email subject.

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