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Update to DJJ Contracting Reforms

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
November 7, 2012 

CONTACT
DJJ Communications
(850) 921-5900
news@djj.state.fl.us

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Nov. 7, 2012) – Keeping its commitment to put the needs of at-risk youth first, the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) has and will continue to implement a series of reforms in how the agency procures services and measures outcomes. Strengthening procurement, contract monitoring and accountability is a key element of DJJ’s Roadmap to System Excellence (click here).

“Our goal is to provide the right service to the right youth at the right time,” said DJJ Secretary Wansley Walters. “With many of our services to kids provided by contractors, it is essential that we remain good stewards of the public’s money by managing our contracting and procurement process as carefully and efficiently as possible.”

The Roadmap builds on reforms already underway at DJJ and guides Florida on the path to becoming the national model for juvenile justice administration. Information pertaining to “Contract Reform” will now be featured on DJJ’s Roadmap to System Excellence website (click here).

Some of the contracting and procurement reforms DJJ have made so far include:

  • Strategically shifting to the Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) contract process. This helps DJJ identify providers who propose the most innovative and effective services under a competitive pricing agreement, while allowing for the negotiation of contract-specific performance measures (started July 2012 and is ongoing).
  • Implementation of staff training to support the ITN process (started August 2012 and is ongoing).
  • Creation of a fiscal monitoring unit to review contract expenditures (created July 2012).
  • Implementation of contract management training (started October 2012 to be concluded by December 2012).
  • The expansion of an agency-wide automated data system to assist staff in the management and monitoring of contracted services while enhancing the tracking of provider performance (known as Program Management and Monitoring; started January 2012 to be concluded July 2013).
  • The development of a contract manager quality-control initiative that ensures contracts are monitored, outstanding issues are addressed and contract managers are maintaining proper documentation (started September 2012; this is an ongoing quarterly process).
  • Focusing our quality improvement process on ensuring that contract providers have effective systems to deliver quality services and care (started October 2011 and is ongoing).

Major next steps include:

  • Department-wide planning and resource management documents a comprehensive approach for prioritizing and managing the agency’s projects and resources collectively. Utilizing a department-wide approach allows for insight into the total pipeline of projects across all program areas and assists with staffing DJJ’s need for resources based within a defined set of priorities (started October 2012 to be concluded by December 2012).
  • The procurement process initiative refines the procurement strategy and develops an interactive process map tool that allows stakeholders to navigate details (i.e., roles, decisions, tools, input, expected outputs and special considerations) for any given step in the procurement process (started August 2012 and is ongoing).
  • The procurement practices and tools initiative involves the implementation of procurement standard practices and tools to support contract administration, procurement evaluators and negotiators and other decision-makers in performing their procurement roles more effectively (started August 2012 and is ongoing).
  • Provider management process improvements are intended to meet the following objectives: provide a clear understanding of and document the current processes and opportunities for improvement, synthesize and document recommendations for improvement and obtain stakeholder buy-in, and document “Future State” process flows and organizational recommendations (expect initial recommendations by December 2012).
  • Workforce/succession planning mitigates the risk of skill and knowledge gaps resulting from staff turnover and an aging workforce by identifying the positions that have the greatest risk. These positions may include leadership and upper-management roles or roles where there is currently limited skill and knowledge in the workforce. The initiative includes a combination of cross-training and formal succession planning (under review).

“I am confident that these steps are in agreement with Governor Scott’s mandate to better align state agency resources and processes to meet the needs of Floridians,” said Walters. “Successful reform of our contracting and procurement process will put the needs of troubled kids first.”

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