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May 23, 2002

City Non-Profit Contracting Task Force
Master Contract Committee

City Contracting Task Force
Master Contract Committee Meeting
City Hall, Room 316 Conference room
May 23, 2002
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.


Participants:          Ed Harrington, Controller
James Illig, Project Open Hand
Merrill Kenna, Catholic Charities
Monique Zmuda, Department of Public Health (DPH)
Judith Stevenson, Baker Places
David Curto, Department of Human Services (DHS)
Winnie Xie, Department on the Status of Women
Angela Karikas, Office of the City Attorney
Tony Michelini, Catholic Charities
Scribe:                    Carmen Le Franc, Controller’s Audits Division

Not Present:          Winna Davis, Department of Children, Youth & Their Families (DCYF)
                    Louis Knox, Office of Contract Administration (OCA)

Ed Harrington opened the meeting by suggesting that someone should be the chairperson for this committee. James Illig agreed to be the chairperson. In addition, Ed mentioned that it would be a good idea for someone to take meeting notes, and that Carmen
Le Franc would take the notes for this meeting.

James Illig read the agenda items that he noted down from the last committee meeting:

1)          Discuss grants vs. contracts
2)          Discuss Data Collection Systems (Repository Systems - DPH and OCA)
3)          Discuss issues that contractors have that can be addressed by changing to master contracts.

Grants vs. Contracts

There was discussion regarding grants vs. contracts, and the perceived differences between them. Ed Harrington noted that currently, it seemed that the grants and contracts created by departments were very similar, but were just called by different names.

Monique Zmuda said that when agreements are for services, they should not be called grants. She then gave the following example of what she considered to be a grant:
A nonprofit, in the process of purchasing a building for supportive housing, needs funds in order to buy it. If DPH gives the nonprofit $150,000 to help it purchase the building, then she considers that to be a grant. She further stated that the contracts issued by DPH are for services. In addition, the contracts contain objectives that must be met, as well as reporting requirements.

Repository System

Committee members discussed the need for a central repository for documentation required to be submitted by contractors. Nonprofit contractors could send in their documentation once, rather than submitting the same information for every contract. Departments could then look up the information to make sure that the nonprofit had the required insurance policies, audit reports, board minutes, etc. A central list of "pre-certified" nonprofit contractors could be created.

Monique Zmuda gave a brief description of the new centralized repository of contract data and documents, which was created by DPH. The system, known as COOL, is an Oracle-based document management, workflow, and database application. It will automate the contracting process. The first stage of the system (electronic contracts) should be live in June or July of this year, with 20-30% of contracts in the system by July 2002. The remaining contracts are expected to be in the system by December 2002. The next stage will be electronic invoices, and then electronic payments. Eventually, contractors will be able to e-mail their documentation to DPH, in the form of an attachment, and DPH will be able to incorporate it into the on-line database.

The Office of Contract Administration is supposed to be working on a central repository system, as well. However, Monique said OCA was not using the same system as DPH.

Master Contracts

Jim Illig stated that it would be best if contractors began providing services with contracts already in place, rather than waiting to receive contracts, extensions, or amendments. He also said that the City should create consistency across departments, and eliminate redundancy in the contracting process. Finally, he said that too many City administrative resources went into contractor reporting, rather than monitoring those contractors. He would like to see more technical assistance and monitoring by the City.

There was general discussion regarding contracts, including creating multi-year contracts in place of single year contracts, as well as standardizing contract language. Some departments already issue multi-year contracts. One benefit to having multi-year contracts is that it would be better for nonprofit contractors to know that the City intended to fund them for more than just one year. A downside to multi-year contracts is the likely possibility of the need for making annual amendments due to changes in the level of funding, target populations, and the scope of work. There was also discussion regarding how to create multi-year contracts that would not cause additional delays, because contracts that are greater than $10 million need to go before the Board of Supervisors, which could add many weeks to the contracting process.

There was also discussion regarding standardizing contract language across departments. Although there was agreement that some contract language could be standardized, it was acknowledged that it would be difficult to standardize all contract language because departments do not necessarily contract for the same types of services. Also, departments have different requirements that they must follow in order to be in compliance with their funding sources, as in the case of departments that pass through federal and state funds to contractors.

Dave Curto asked how many nonprofit contractors would benefit by having master contracts.

Ed Harrington said that there were approximately 80 nonprofit contractors that had more than one contract with the City.

A list of contractors and their City funding sources will be created. The list will then be reviewed to determine which contracts could be consolidated into one master contract.

Ed Harrington suggested that there could be alternatives to master contracts, such as having one department work-order funds to another, and having all requirements from both departments be incorporated into one contract. Then, one department could monitor the contractor, or there could be a joint monitoring process.

Jim Illig closed the meeting by suggesting that three items be carried over to the Task Force meeting:

1.          Create a list of pre-certified contractors that have all required documentation in place to streamline the contracting process.

2.          Obtain list of nonprofit contractors with multiple contracts, and ask departments to review to see if contracts can be consolidated.

3.          Develop recommendations to the Board of Supervisors to streamline the contracting process, particularly for multi-year contracts in excess of $10 million.

In addition, it was suggested that Louis Knox be asked whether OCA has finished its repository system to see if could be used to centralize contractor documents for all departments.


Last updated: 12/6/2009 11:37:53 AM