Contracting for Services in State and Local Government Agencies

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Overview

The First Complete Contracting Reference/ Textbook for State and Local Agencies

Federal contracting officials have a comprehensive resource in the Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) to guide them through the arduous contracting process; however, until now there has been no such counterpart for state and local government agencies. Contracting for Services in State and Local Government Agencies is the first reference book of its kind specifically designed to provide state and local administrators with a concise authoritative resource on contracting for services.

Draws from the best features of existing RFPs and contracts nationwide

In preparation for writing this book, author William Sims Curry contacted all 50 state governments, as well a large selection of city and county governments, and asked them to participate in the development of templates for Requests for Proposals (RFPs) and service contracts. These agencies were asked to complete a questionnaire and provide copies of their RFP and service contract templates. Out of their contributions, the best features from each were incorporated into the Best Practices RFP and Service Contract, which are presented here in this volume. The templates can be readily downloaded from an included CD-ROM. These can be fully adapted to meet any specific need. In the text, both of these documents are examined, line by line, with the author explaining specific language choices.

Guides you through the contracting process, step-by-step

In addition to these model documents, additional techniques and tools are introduced to assist agencies in improving their services contracting programs. The book is presented in the sequence of the contracting cycle, beginning with advance contract planning and proceeding to pre-solicitation, solicitation, proposal evaluation, negotiation, and award through contract administration and closeout.

By adopting the techniques in this book, state and local agencies will be able to effectively contract for services, get the best price available, and get important jobs done on time.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
a guide for government officials who want to make sure that the deals they seek to secure with private businesses aren't ones that lead to poor decisions and corruption. On the government side, contracts should always defend public interest and avoid wasteful spending while maintaining a level of quality, and William Sims Curry writes on how to avoid the worst of decisions with simple principles and how to avoid being exploited by private industry. … a must for any government official.
—James A. Cox, Editor-in-Chief, Midwest Book Review, in Library Bookwatch, March 2011
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Product Details

Table of Contents

The Contracting Cycle and Advance Contract Planning

Chapter Objectives

Introduction

Essential Elements of a Contract

Attributes of Contracts for Services

Participants in State and Local Government Contracting Process

Best-Practices Research

Phases of the Contracting Cycle

Pre-solicitation

Solicitation

Proposal Evaluation

Contract Award

Contract Administration

Contract Closeout

Advance Contract Planning

Availability of an Agency Web Site

Web Site Provided for Management of Pre-proposal Communications

Dollar Threshold where Sole Source Justification is Required

Preference Not Given to Local Contractors

The Words "Proposal" and "Bid" Are Not Used Synonymously

Reference to Companies Solicited as Contractors or Prospective Contractors

Word Used That Best Compels Contractors to Perform Tasks

Weighted Criteria Established for Evaluation of Proposals

Price Stated as One Criterion for Evaluation of Proposals

Format Specified for Proposals

Page Limit Established for Proposals

Model Contract Included in the RFP

Acceptance of Late Proposals

Proposals Opened in Confidence

Conclusion

Note

Competition and Socioeconomic Contracting

Chapter Objectives

Introduction to Competition in Contracting

Disadvantages of Sole Source Contracting

Challenges to and Benefits of Embracing Competition

Dollar Threshold where Sole Source Justification is Required

Justification for Sole Source Contracts

Introduction to Socioeconomic Contracting Programs

Equal Opportunity Techniques for Developing a Successful Socioeconomic Contracting Program

Establish an Incentive Awards Program

Motivational Training for Contracts Professionals

Managers Encourage Use of Targeted Companies

Participate in a Supportive Organization

Establish Rapport with Targeted Companies

Provide Direct Assistance to Targeted Companies

Promote Internal Networking

Incorporate Program Support as Part of Job

Responsibility

Conclusion

Notes

Solicitation Documents: Information for Prospective Contractors

Chapter Objectives

Types of Solicitations

Best-Practices RFP

Cover Page

Table of Contents

Notice to Prospective Contractors

Comments and Questions

Communications with Agency

Accommodations

Confidentiality of Proposals

Contact Information

Address and Due Date for Proposals

No Public Opening

Questions Regarding this RFP

Contractors without E-Mail Access

RFP Addenda

Questions and Responses Posted on Web Site

Introduction

Background

Scope of Work

Contractor Selection Process

RFP Release

Due Date for Receipt of Questions

Paper and CD-ROM Versions of Proposals

Due Date for Proposals

Opening of Proposals

Evaluation of Proposals

Presentations, Discussions, or Negotiations

Right to Reject Proposals

Weighted Evaluation Criteria

Debriefing

Protests

Agency Rights

Conclusion

Note

Solicitation Document: Proposal Requirements and Preparation Guidelines

Chapter Objectives

Proposal Format

Past Performance

Financial Stability

Risk Assessment

Project Plan

Outsourcing

Life-Cycle Cost

Life-Cycle Cost Format

Certifications

Prospective Contractor Certification

Certification Regarding Lobbying

Certification of Compliance with Pro-Children Act of 1994

Certification Regarding Debarment, Suspension,Ineligibility, and Voluntary Exclusion —Lower Tier Covered Transactions

Certification of Cost or Pricing Data

Proposal Preparation Instructions

Exceptions

Oral Explanations

Reference to Other Data

Elaborate Proposals

Desired Recycling Considerations

Cost for Proposal Preparation

Time for Acceptance

Right to Submitted Material

Prospective Contractor’s Representative

Subcontracting

Proprietary Information

Historically Underutilized Business

Accommodations

Model Services Contract

Conclusion

Notes

Management of Pre-Proposal communications and Evaluation of Proposals

Chapter Objectives

Introduction to Management of Pre-Proposal Communications

Alternative Methods for Managing Pre-Proposal Communications

Pre-Proposal Conference

Questions Posed Verbally

Letter, Overnight Courier, and E-mail

Providing a Web Site for Posing Questions and Posting Agency Responses

Submitting Questions via E-mail and Posting Questions and Responses to the Web Site

Introduction to Evaluation of Proposals

Predetermined Numerical Scales

Specific Adjective Scales

Color Code Scales

Narrative Description

Ranking Method

Evaluating Proposals with Weighted Criteria

Conclusion

Protests

Chapter Objectives

Introduction to Protests

Preventing Protests

Policies and Procedures for Dealing with Protests

The Inclusion of Protest Procedures in Solicitations

Coordination with Legal Counsel

Requests for Public Records in Conjunction with Protest

Unconventional Protests

Blindsiding

Firm Not Solicited

Conventional Protests

Making a Determination on the Merits of the Protest

Read the Protest

Read the Solicitation

Read the Proposal Evaluation Team Instructions

Review the Policy and Procedures

Review the Proposal Evaluation Record

Finalize the Questions for Proposal Evaluation Committee Members

Interview Proposal Evaluation Committee Members

Synthesize the Information to Make a Determination

Document the Determination

Conclusion

Contract Negotiations, Ethics, and Conflicts of Interest

Chapter Objectives

Introduction to Negotiations

Ethics for Government Negotiators

Requesting a Best and Final Offer (BAFO)

Assigning Roles to Negotiation Team Members in Interactive Negotiations

Preparing for Negotiations

Objectionable or Unacceptable Contract Provisions

Applicable Law and Forum

Exorbitant Late Fee

Onerous Indemnity Provisions

Termination

Insurance

Reimbursement

Cost Plus a Percentage of Cost

Contract Changes

Nondiscrimination

Inspection

Conflict of Interest

Data Rights

Automatic Renewal

Develop the Negotiation Plan

Conducting Negotiations

Dealing with Difficult Situations during Negotiations

Concluding and Documenting the Negotiations

Introduction to Ethics and Conflicts of Interest

Organizational Ethical Standards

Threshold for Unacceptable Gratuities

Zero-Tolerance Policy

Scenario Involving a Newly Hired Employee

Yet Another Ploy to Make Government Employees or Officials Feel Committed to a Particular Contractor

Government Employees or Officials Who Initiate Consideration of Gratuities

Personal Ethical Standards

Conclusion

Contract Document

Chapter Objectives

Essential Elements of Contracts and Types of Contracts

Best-Practices Services Contract

One-Page Contract Format

Preamble

Recitals

Incorporation of Documents

Execution

Contract Attachments

Insurance Provisions

Scope of Work

Terms and Conditions

Conclusion

Notes

Contract Terms and Conditions

Chapter Objectives

Contract Terms and Conditions

Term

Termination for Default

Force Majeure

Liquidated Damages

Termination for Convenience

Termination Transition

Contractor Reimbursement

Payment Terms

Set-Off

Agency Project Manager

Key Personnel

Independent Contractor

Confidentiality and Ownership

Indemnification

Insurance

Amendments

Waiver of Rights

Compliance with Laws

Americans with Disabilities Act

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act

Nondiscrimination

Drug-Free Workplace

Workers’ Compensation

Contractor’s Standard of Care

Care of Property

Advertising

Performance Evaluation

Inspection of Work and Project Site

Applicable Law and Forum

Successors and Assigns

Subcontracting

Unallowable Costs

Audit, Employee Interviews, and Document Retention

Remedies not Exclusive

Conflict of Interest

Contractor Integrity

Political Contribution Disclosure

Assignment of Antitrust Claims

Payment of Taxes

Officials not to Prosper

Copyrights

Budget Contingency

Counterparts

Severability

Notices

Titles, Headings, or Captions

Entire Agreement and Survival of Provisions beyond the Contract Term

Conclusion

Short-Form Contracts, Short-Form RFPs, Emergencies, and Letter Contracts

Chapter Objectives

Short-Form Contracts and RFPs

Simplification of the RFP

Simplification of the MSC

Simplification of the Terms and Conditions

Amendments to Short-Form Contracts

Contracting for Services to be Provided during Emergencies

Letter Contracts

Award of Letter Contracts due to Unanticipated Needs during an Emergency

Competitive Emergency Contracting

Scope of Work

Cost Control

Terms and Conditions

Authority to Award Letter Contracts

Definitization of Letter Contracts

Conclusion

Contract Review, Execution, and Audit

Chapter Objectives

Contract Execution by Contractor

Contract Review

Contract Review by Contract Management Staff

Contract Review by Financial Management Staff

Contract Review by Legal Counsel

Online Contract Review

Hard-Copy Contract Review

Contract Execution by Contracting Agency

Distribution of Fully Executed Contracts

Contract Audit

Conclusion

Contract Administration and Closeout

Chapter Objectives

Contract Administration

Approval of Contractor Billings

Managing Contractor Cost and Schedule Performance

Contract Amendments

Managing Completion of Milestones and Deliverables

Reacting to Substandard Contractor Performance

Contract Closeout

Contractor Performance Report

Relief of Financial Encumbrances

Records Retention

Conclusion

APPENDICES

A Glossary of Terms

B Best-Practices Research Project

C Advance Contract Planning Topics Not Included in Best Practices

D Instructions for Completion of the Sole Source Justification/Approval Form

E Best-Practices Request For Proposals (RFP)

F Model Services Contract (MSC)

G Short-Form RFP with Short-Form Contract

H Reference Checklist

I Evaluation of Proposals in Response to RFP

J Tables Used in Proposal Evaluation Process

K Sample Letter Contract

L Sample Show Cause Letter

M Sample Contractor Performance Report

N Estimate at Completion

O Contract Amendment

P Short-Form Contract Amendment

INDEX

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  • Posted May 16, 2010

    Informative and readable

    Bill Curry provides an in-depth examination of the basics as well as many of the fine points of government contracting at the state and local levels in this book. In that sense, the book fills a gap because most of the books on contracting that I'm familiar with are geared toward the federal government.

    Curry also supplements the research that went into this book with a 50-state survey of state and local officials to garner best practices in contracting; and, as a result, he comes up with quite a bit of new information. The model services contract at the end and best-practices RFP further add to the value of this book. I highly recommend it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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