Avoiding Pitfalls and Managing Performance


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Avoiding Pitfalls and Managing Performance

  1. 1. Avoiding Pitfalls and Managing Performance
  3. 3. <ul><li>Solution or Preventive Measure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify other organizations within your agency or other State agencies that have recently faced a similar need and how that organization handled their procurement. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What procurement vehicle did they use? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What method of award? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What problems did they encounter in procurement or managing performance? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Pitfall: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Agency identifies a need for contractual services. </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Pitfall: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The agency does not know what product, service or technology the vendor community has available. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solution or Preventive Measure : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Survey current providers through a Request for Information (RFI) to assess the availability, types, and options of goods and services and to help identify potential suppliers. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Request For Information (RFI) <ul><li>The agency prepares a document which: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provides a preliminary description of the program objectives and goals, and, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solicits input from the vendor community as to the availability of products, services and/or technology to meet their needs. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. RFI – Mandatory Requirements (Procurement Guidelines, Section Seven, IV.C.3.a) <ul><li>Notification of the RFI must be published in the Contract Reporter. </li></ul><ul><li>The RFI is mailed to all potential offerors known by the agency at the time of mailing. </li></ul><ul><li>An open meeting to solicit additional information is the recommended approach. All offerors responding to the RFI must be notified in writing of questions submitted and kept informed of the any open meetings. </li></ul>
  7. 7. RFI – Other Requirements <ul><li>No award may be made under the RFI process. </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Pitfall: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Department lacks adequate resources for managing the project. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solution or Preventive Measure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seek outside assistance by identifying organizations within your agency or other State agencies that may have qualified staff. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Determine if you need to procure the services of a project manager to accomplish your project goals. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Pitfall: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Agency incurs large cost overruns during project. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solution or Preventive Measure: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At outset of the procurement process, agency should perform a detailed cost analysis of staff training time, equipment needs, contractual costs, set-aside for contingencies (unexpected events), etc. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Effective contract management is dependent on four key elements <ul><li>Methods used to select the contractors (procurement). </li></ul><ul><li>Adequacy of contract provisions (contract establishment). </li></ul><ul><li>Processes used to establish contract payments (rate-setting/reimbursement methodology). </li></ul><ul><li>Processes used to monitor contractor performance (contract oversight). </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Pitfall: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All available procurement vehicles were not evaluated in developing bid documents. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solution or Preventive Measure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Review all procurement vehicles to insure the correct fit. Consider Preferred Sources, OGS centralized contracts, OGS backdrop contracts, discretionary purchasing, IFB’s, RFP’s, single or sole source. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>Pitfall: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An RFP was used when an IFB would have fit the scope of services, causing: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>An unnecessary administrative burden. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Increase in processing time (inception to commencement of work). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Extra cost. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Solution or Preventive Measure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>An IFB should be the best approach if: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Exact technical solution is known. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Price is very important. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>An RFP should be the best approach if: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A technical solution is needed (generally complex in nature). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Technical appraisal outweighs importance of cost. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Types of services which should be procured by these methods: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>IFB: Commodity purchases (required); janitorial; guard duty; auditing. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RFP: Modernization of an existing system (Human Resources, Payroll, Financial Management, etc.); Development of a new system (Electronic Benefits Transfer-EBT, Rebid of MMIS – eMed NY, Connections, etc.). </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Pitfall: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contract performance did not produce a meaningful result. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solution or Preventive Measure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>RFP/IFB/Contract should,wherever possible: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Specify outcomes of deliverables (clear statement of expected goods and services). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reflect identifiable measures of performance. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Require liquidated damages, a letter of credit or performance bond. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Pitfall: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A price increase for a renewal year was negotiated but the original RFP/IFB and contract did not allow for price escalation (no contract escalation clause). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solution or Preventive Measure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The RFP/IFB and original contract must have an escalation clause to allow price adjustments. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If not, the amendment would be returned unapproved and the agency would be required to submit a reduced amendment amount. </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Why is Contract Management Important? <ul><li>Effective contract management is essential to ensure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Contractors produce desired results. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Public funds are protected from fraud, waste, or inefficient use. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Historical Perspective What are the Costs of Poor Contract Management? <ul><li>A Commission placed under conservatorship due to widespread contract mismanagement. </li></ul><ul><li>An agency circumvents procurement requirements on a $33.7 million contract. </li></ul><ul><li>Gross fiscal mismanagement of Smart Jobs contracts administered by a State agency. </li></ul><ul><li>Poor contract performance oversight causing over $100 million in cost overruns (double the original project estimate) and still on-going. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Liquidated Damages <ul><ul><li>Consequential Damages : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Vendor’s inability to deliver contract deliverables in accordance with specifications and timeliness, i.e. non-conformance. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Disruption to agency programs. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Loss of Federal or other reimbursement funds. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Creates other negative impacts. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Liquidated Damages <ul><ul><ul><li>These losses should be quantified in dollars and assessed against the vendor. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Some examples of non-conformance are: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not delivering agreed to system up-time percentage. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not meeting processing standards for claims. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Causing systems to be inoperable. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Liquidated Damages <ul><ul><li>Direct Damages : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Termination for Cause provision is exercised; agency is forced to rebid. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>If termination results in extra costs above the original contract amount, the terminated vendor should be held responsible for the difference. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Liquidated Damages <ul><ul><ul><li>The RFP/IFB/Contract should state a specific dollar limit for which liquidated damages may be assessed for either consequential or direct damages. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Liquidated damages may be specified in advance if reasonably related to the anticipated harm that will result from default. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Unreasonably high amounts are regarded as penalties that may not be legally enforced under the guide of “liquidated damages.” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Liquidated Damages <ul><li>These damages are not “penalties.” </li></ul><ul><li>Solely intended to compensate the State for harm caused by default. </li></ul><ul><li>Availability of liquidated damage remedy intended to have only an incidental incentive/disincentive effect on contractor’s performance. </li></ul><ul><li>Full assessment (dollars) of liquidated damage clause is not required; the actual assessment should be proportionate to the harm suffered by the State. </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>Pitfall: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Agency develops an unclear specification and/or provides insufficient bidding information; this can result in an insufficient number of firms bidding or a bid protest, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solution or Preventive Measure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop clear, detailed specifications allowing bidders to submit responsive proposals. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If needed, seek outside assistance: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Identify other organizations within your agency or other State agencies for qualified staff. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Solicit outside consultant services. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Section 163.A of the New York State Finance Law reminder. </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Pitfall: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Agency writes restrictive specifications resulting in a lack of adequate competition, complaints or protests, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solution or Preventive Measure: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Restrictive specifications may be a reason for rejection and rebid of a contract. Transaction may be returned to agency unapproved. </li></ul></ul>
  27. 27. <ul><li>Pitfall: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Did not establish criteria prior to receipt of bids (“lock box”), including the use of a finalist slate, if applicable. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solution or Preventive Measure: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Review Section 163.7 of NYS Finance Law. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Contract will be returned unapproved. </li></ul></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>Pitfall: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Did not publish relative weights in bid document (technical vs. cost). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solution or Preventive Measure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Review Section 163.9.b of NYS Finance Law. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The contract will be returned unapproved. </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>Pitfall: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Price offered should be reviewed objectively. The content or level of effort should be considered when evaluating the technical proposals. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solution or Preventive Measure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Technical proposal should include a manning schedule to help determine if the proposed level of effort is realistic in regard to achieving the end work product. </li></ul></ul>
  30. 30. <ul><li>Pitfall: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Points assigned to cost did not represent a meaningful worth. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solution or Preventive Measure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Review intent of State Finance Law, Article 11 (particularly Sections 163.1.j, 163.7 and 163.9.b) and Procurement Guidelines. </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>Pitfall: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When using the formula in the Procurement Guidelines, a high dollar bid may skew the points assigned to the mid-range bids. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solution or Preventive Measure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Use the following recommended formula to provide a more balanced assignment of cost points. </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Recommended Cost Formula <ul><li>Low bid / bid being evaluated x maximum points for cost = cost score </li></ul>4.17 4.17 $900,000 9.62 18.33 $390,000 19.74 23.89 $190,000 23.44 24.72 $160,000 25.00 25.00 $150,000 Recommended Formula (max. pts. 25) PG Formula (max. pts. 25) Sample Bid Tabulation
  33. 33. <ul><li>Pitfall: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Multiple award not in RFP/IFB or without a defined selection procedure as to how the work will be distributed. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solution or Preventive Measure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Review Section 163.10.c of NYS Finance Law. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You must define the “up to” number of firms that can be awarded a contract. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You must define your selection procedure for the actual work (task orders etc.). </li></ul></ul>
  34. 34. Evaluation and Award Stage
  35. 35. <ul><li>Pitfall: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Agency did not respond to a vendor’s request for debriefing; did not notify unsuccessful vendors in a timely manner. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solution or Preventive Measure: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Review Procurement Guidelines, Section Seven, VI.2. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Debriefing is mandatory. </li></ul></ul>
  36. 36. <ul><li>Pitfall: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The agency’s application of evaluation scoring differs from their RFP/IFB/evaluation instrument. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solution or Preventive Measure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Review State Finance Law, Article 11, and the Procurement Guidelines. A rebid of the services may be required. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop the RFP and evaluation instrument at the same time. </li></ul></ul>
  37. 37. <ul><li>Pitfall: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Award made to a non-responsive bidder, i.e., vendor did not meet specification requirements or submit proper forms, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solution or Preventive Measure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is not acceptable. The transaction will be returned to agency unapproved. </li></ul></ul>
  38. 38. Example: Non-Responsive Bidder <ul><li>The RFP/IFB requires unlimited liability on the part of the vendor. During negotiation with the awarded vendor, the agency negotiates a lesser liability, creating a material change to the original procurement. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider and weigh: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reasonableness of this requirement. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Necessity of this requirement. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Are there a sufficient number of vendors who will bid on the specific services being procured if this requirement is present? </li></ul></ul>
  39. 39. Example: Non-Responsive Bidder <ul><li>Any material change(s) to a procurement document (RFP/IFB) may prejudice other offerors as well as potential offerors who did not submit a bid. These awards are subject to re-bid. </li></ul>
  40. 40. Use Electronic Payments
  41. 41. <ul><li>Pitfall: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Electronic payments process not used for payments to vendors. </li></ul></ul>
  42. 42. <ul><li>Solution or Preventive Measure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Payee completes an Electronic Payments Authorization Form to enroll in this program. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Benefits : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Faster access to cash by your vendors. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Direct deposit; access within 24 hours. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Less paperwork to process for New York State. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>OSC Payment Bureau’s volume: </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>4.6 million transactions annually. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>18,500 daily payments to vendors, municipalities and employees. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Vendor receives e-mail alerts when monies are ready to be deposited in their accounts. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Vendors receive one electronic payment for all their invoices for that day. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  43. 43. <ul><li>Solution or Preventive Measure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>For further information, contact OSC’s Bureau of Accounting Operations at (518) 474-4032 or e-mail: [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Visit OSC website at http://nysosc3.osc.state.ny.us/epay/index.htm </li></ul></ul>
  44. 44. <ul><li>Pitfall: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Agency awards a reduced scope of work from originally requested in the RFP/IFB. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Solution or Preventive Measure: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This is not acceptable unless it is a minor reduction. The agency must be able to defend that any bidder or potential bidder was not prejudiced. </li></ul></ul>
  45. 45. <ul><li>We strongly recommend publishing your mandatory contract provisions into the RFP or IFB, since: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This allows potential bidders to raise concerns prior to submitting a bid, and, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Eliminates a vendor or vendors unwilling to meet these mandatory provisions, thus avoiding prolonged and fruitless contract negotiations if this vendor is the highest ranked firm; thus saving the agency time and money, and avoiding delay of their program needs being met. </li></ul></ul>
  46. 46. Summary
  47. 47. In Summary: <ul><li>Openness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Questions and answers are disclosed to all bidders. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No verbal (one on one) communications with vendors. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Debriefing losing vendors upon request. </li></ul></ul>
  48. 48. In Summary: <ul><li>Fairness </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create an even playing field. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Clear, detailed specifications. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>No altering of evaluation criteria after bids have been received. </li></ul></ul>
  49. 49. In Summary: <ul><li>Due Diligence </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Knowledge of applicable rules and regulations. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Procurement Guidelines. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Procurement Stewardship Act. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>OSC G-Bulletins. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  50. 50. In Summary: <ul><li>Achieving Goals </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicate your needs/goals and reach a full understanding with the awarded vendor. </li></ul></ul>
  51. 51. In Summary: <ul><li>Following these outlined steps should produce a protest-free procurement and a smooth approval process. </li></ul>