(DISCUSSION/ACTION) Possible action to approve recommended contracts with CBO providers, not to exceed $1.5 mil.
Lonnie Holmes reported that they expect contracts will be ready for approval by the Commission by the end of the month (by the next Commission meeting). Some of the delays are due to contractors not completing their paperwork (workplans, insurance, signed forms).
Ques: aren’t workplans part of the proposal submission? Yes, but they need to be revised during negotiations. Comm Hale was concerned with the change in the process where previously set guidelines were not ultimately followed. He was concerned with the capacity of support (nos served) given the reduction in numbers of CBOs. He was concerned if revenues being used for certain services could legally be used for them (naming two examples: Brown Bombers, and LCRS). Specifically he said these were funds from DCYF and he didn’t know if they could be “RFP’d” out. L. Holmes said that all dollars coming to the Dept had to be let out in an RFP process, including DCYF monies. Comm Hale asked the Dep. City Attorney to offer an opinion on this because he heard that they weren’t supposed to be used in an RFP process. R. Katz said she could look into it.
Comm Fetico questioned how these contract services would be evaluated.
The Chief asked if these questions needed to be resolved before the contracts are presented for Commission approval.
There was a question about evaluating services not as a process (eg. how many attended, did the activity, how many activities were done, etc. etc.) but as an outcome/impact (what resulted from the service in behavior/attitude changes), and how effective the intervention was.
The Chief commented that there is a holdback of 10% of the contract amounts, dependent on completion of an evaluation of their services’ successes. He said intended outcomes need to be matched with the scope of their programs, but this will be the first time that such elements of evaluation will be required so it needs to be worked up successively.
Comm Fetico asked if some of the already completed contracts needed Commission approval. L. Holmes said that these were approved 2 yrs ago from an RFP process, and if they performed satisfactorily, in subsequent years the Dept could just proceed on.
R. Katz, Dep. City Attorney, said that contracts are only paid if there are available funds. The contracts are not for 3 yrs but one year with eligible renewals for the next 2 yrs. The answer to whether the Commission needs to approve them is not a legal issue but procedural. Legally the Commission isn’t required to approve any contract. It has been past practice for this Commission to approve contracts. With respect to multi year contracts, if the Commission wants to change how it deals with these, it should be discussed with the Dept head.
Pres. Stiglich said that this item will be carried to the Sept 27 meeting, with a proviso that if action needed to be done before that, the Commission would call a special meeting to act on it.
Jessica Hazard commented that a recommendation/guideline of the Local Action Plan was that the funds should go exclusively or primarily to serving youth in the system (on probation). As to the 10% holdback on contracts, she said that CBOs have no problem with accountability, but they hope that everyone (including Dept staff) will be held accountable. If the CBOs don’t get referrals from POs (the Dept) their effectiveness is compromised. She also said that hopefully the records system (CMS) has appropriate places where results and outcomes can be recorded and accessed. In the past there were times where results could not be inputted into the database so their results of their work were not reflected.
There was a discussion about awareness of this problem, the coordination among all partners involved in the process (DA, PD, courts, JPD, CBOs) and agreement on protocols. There are meetings going on about this, but nothing formal is in place. Comm Queen asked that this be made concrete.
Norma Hotaling, SAGE, also echoed the need to get cooperation and collaboration with the Dept staff to get services to youth. She expressed concern that the evening reporting centers will be disconnected with the probation dept due to its funding from MOCJ.
Toni Powell commented that Judge Mahoney once said it wasn’t the POs keeping youth detained, but lack of confidence in the CBOs that did. She said that there needed to be an improvement in both the effectiveness of CBOs and the perception of their effectiveness.