Category Archives: Oversight/Contract.Management

Strategies for Dealing with an Angry Contractor Who Loses a Re-Bid

Source: ICMA, October 2007

When a contract changes hands, the contract administration team is likely to face two problems. The first problem is deterioration of the current contractor’s performance as the current contract term comes to an end, extending in some cases even to sabotage. The second problem is uneven performance by the new contractor at the beginning of the new contract term.

Here are strategies for dealing with the first problem–deterioration of the current contractor’s performance–excerpted from Service Contracting: A Local Government Guide, Second Edition.

Lawmakers Work To Finish Up Bills

Source: By SUSAN HAIGH, The Associated Press (CT), 9:14 PM EDT, September 20, 2007

…… The Senate earlier passed a bill setting standards for state contracts. But the House was debating the legislation into the evening. The legislation has been years in the making. It became a hot topic three years ago after former Gov. John G. Rowland resigned amid a corruption scandal involving a state contractor.

The bill establishes a board that will oversee the contracting process. It also creates a procedure for privatizing state functions. That process includes conducting a cost benefit analysis to ensure that state employees won’t be able to provide the same services less expensively.

“I think it’s a good first step. I’m sorry it took so long for it happen,” said Sal Luciano, AFSCME Council 4 executive director. But Luciano questions whether the legislation will lead to an accounting of how many privatized contracts the state has with various companies.

Privatization v. The Public’s Right to Know

Source: Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

…… Rare is the reporter who has not dealt with some privatization, whether that is with a contractor paid for some traditionally governmental service — such as running prisons in Texas or performing military duties in Iraq — or with an entity that has some public and private characteristics, such as an economic development corporation.

But the public records and open meetings laws that the press relies on provide much less access to the private contractors than if those responsibilities are still in government hands. That can make it nearly impossible for the media to provide oversight of important public services and report on how taxpayer money is being spent.

See the full Special Report on Privatization v. The Public’s Right to Know with links to additional articles.

NYC Vendor Search

Source: New York City Mayor’s Office of Contract Services

The NYC Vendor Search provides detailed information about vendors that do business with the City of New York and their principals. Vendor and principal information available in this application is obtained through VENDEX questionnaires. For more information on VENDEX, please visit www.nyc.gov/vendex.

Note: New York City Vendor Search, “is a subset of data from the City’s Vendor Information Exchange System (VENDEX) system which is maintained by the Mayor’s Office of Contract Services (MOCS).”

Lawmakers look to get tough on problem contractors

Source: By AMY DOOLITTLE, Federal Times, July 23, 2007

House Democrats intend to make it harder for unethical and poor-performing contractors to win federal business.

“Right now, there is nothing stopping a fraudulent contractor from bouncing from federal agency to federal agency, fleecing U.S. taxpayers the whole way,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., said July 18 at a House hearing to review the matter.

She and Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., introduced this month a bill that would create a new extensive database on every federal contractor that has done work for the government in the last five years.

Federal Contractor Misconduct Database

Source: Project On Government Oversight (POGO), July 18, 2007

POGO announced today that it is releasing an improved and more user-friendly “Federal Contractor Misconduct Database” (FCMD) (www.contractormisconduct.org). For years, POGO has been scouring public sources to compile instances of misconduct involving the top 50 federal contractors to highlight how risky contractors continue to receive taxpayer funds. The new database, which covers instances of misconduct from 1995 to the present, includes the source documents for each instance, drawing primarily from government documents. While the database is not exhaustive, POGO hopes that contracting officials will use it as a resource when awarding contracts to assure that taxpayer dollars are only being directed to responsible contractors.

The best privatization is the kind that works

Source: By Bill Cotterell, Tallahassee Democrat (FL), Jul 2, 2007

The whole idea of privatization – or “outsourcing,” if you prefer – is to save the taxpayers money and improve services by injecting competition into the government marketplace.

It didn’t start with ex-Gov. Jeb Bush, although he was an enthusiastic advocate of giving privateers a shot at the “noncore” functions of state agencies.

……… There is now a Council on Efficient Government that’s cleaning up after Bush, although none of its professional staff would put it quite that way. In fairness, the council is doing a lot more than live autopsies on the Bush legacy; it will set up an orderly system for government contracting.

House steps up foster oversight / Legislature: Bill that curtails privatization at odds with Senate plan

Source: By ROBERT T. GARRETT, The Dallas Morning News (TX), Tuesday, May 22, 2007

A bill that would strengthen protection of foster children – and roll back almost all of the privatization of foster care lawmakers ordered last session – was endorsed by the House on Monday.

…… News reports about the beating deaths of three foster children in North Texas since August 2005 have revealed spotty state oversight of foster care contractors and state officials’ lack of information about Texas’ nearly 10,000 foster homes.

GOP sets off-limits areas for Strickland

Source: Jim Siegel, THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH (OH), Sunday, December 10, 2006

……. Republicans will still control both branches of the legislature next year, albeit by smaller margins than now. ……Now, attention is focused on bills that: ……..

• Restrict contributions from individuals and firms getting no-bid contracts, and require the attorney general to approve all state contracts over $1 million.

• Require that the state contract with at least two private prisons, keeping the current number intact.

Related item from OCSEA: Take Action: Urge Ohio Senate to oppose new prison privatization mandate