Questions and Concerns

  • Question: What conclusions has DHS reached that makes contract re-bidding a DHS priority?

    Answer: The use of the competitive bidding process will encourage all parties to look at contracts and the service delivery system in a new way. It will challenge DHS and providers to become more innovative and efficient. Measurements will be incorporated into the RFPs. Deliverables based on performance will become the norm.

  • Question: Would awards through a competitive process be for a multi-year period, or only for FY11?

    Answer: Awards can be multi-year conditioned on the contractors' performance and the availability of funds. Each program area is unique; therefore, each division will plan the time periods accordingly.

  • Question: Will the experience of existing providers be taken into consideration?

    Answer: Absolutely, yes. The RFP will encourage potential grantees to describe their capacity and their demonstrated effectiveness to provide the service.

  • Concern: DHS has targeted providers and/or services for reduction or elimination through competitive bidding.

    Answer: No such targeting has occurred. The competitive bid activity will be an open, fair process designed to obtain the highest quality of service possible for the areas of greatest need.

  • Concern: A competitive bid process will result in fewer services delivered, and fewer dollars will be available for distribution in the community.

    Answer: DHS does not believe this will be the case. The competitive bid process is intended to specifically address service levels.

  • Concern: No current services should be bid. Only new funds or new initiatives should be bid.

    Answer: The overwhelming majority (94%) of contracts have not been bid for over 10 years, if at all. There are contract areas that have not adjusted to changes in service need. The competitive bid process will enable DHS to specifically outline desired outcomes.

  • Concern: Funds from DHS are used to leverage monies from federal/private/local sources. Bidding the funds jeopardizes these funds and the services they support.

    Answer: DHS understands that other funding entities consider the state's role in agencies' financial potential, but it is the responsibility of each funding source to assess each potential grantee's capacity for garnering additional sources of revenue and for the soundness in its proposed service.

  • Concern: The competitive bid process assumes that DHS funds are paying for the entire service.

    Answer: This is not true in all instances. In fact, in some scenarios, the demonstration that other dollars are being solicited to enhance a core service may be seen as an advantage. DHS should encourage its community partners to diversify its funding streams when at all possible to increase agency service capacity, stability, and sustainability.

  • Concern: DHS is utilizing the competitive bid process to garner the lowest cost for services.

    Answer: DHS wants to garner the delivery of the best of quality services in areas of greatest need. DHS will not award grants with the sole purpose of offering the cheapest service.

  • Concern: The competitive bid process will eliminate those without professional grant-writing staff and skills.

    Answer: The reviewers of the proposals will be individuals who have expertise in the program areas and experience in reviewing proposals. The manner in which information is presented in the proposals will be secondary to the demonstration of need, experience, capacity, and ability to provide the service.

  • Concern: How will DHS ensure that new providers are prepared to receive clients?

    Answer: The new providers must have already demonstrated that their agency is ready to receive clients in order to be granted a contract.

  • Concern: What happens if an RFP goes out and receives one or no bid?

    Answer: DHS does not anticipate this occurring. The program areas selected for FY11 and in subsequent years will be carefully considered.

  • Concern: Does DHS have the manpower to generate the RFPs, review them, and implement them?

    Answer: Yes. Existing resources were taken into consideration when decisions were made.

  • Concern: Will there be an appeal process?

    Answer: Yes. Applicants who object to any provision of the RFP, who believe their proposal was improperly rejected, or who believe that the selected proposal(s) is/are not in the best interest of the Department may submit a written protest of the Department' s action.