Legal Unit

Contracts: The median # of business days contracts are in development

46Sep 2020

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Notes on Methodology

In December 2018, a goal of 30 business days was set as a target for this measure.

Partners
  • Agency of Human Services
  • Agency of Digital Services
  • Agency of Administration
  • Office of the Attorney General
  • Department of Finance & Management
  • DVHA Vendors
Story Behind the Curve

In order to execute agreements that enable work to happen on schedule and within budget, contracts need to be drafted, routed, and signed for execution in a timely manner. In order for contracts to guide the delivery of results, contract language related to business need and expectations must be clear, accurate, and understood by all parties. The current process related to drafting, routing, and executing contracts involves many required reviewers and signatories per the Agency of Administration’s Bulletin 3.5 requirements. Department program staff would like to see this process shortened, while Business Office staff must ensure that all requirements of Bulletin 3.5 are adhered to and that reviewers have adequate time to perform their review.

The contracts unit only had 2 agreements executed in the month of August so there were only 2 data points in each category to pull the median from. The development of the KPI is skewed because one agreement spent 104 days in development which is unusual. The signature KPI is skewed because one agreement spent 44 days in the signature phase because we had to wait for CMS approval before we could execute.

Many of the contracts that the unit manages expire and need to be renewed or replaced by the end of calendar and State fiscal years. Due to the volume of agreements and the nature of the work, development often takes longer as shown in the KPIs for Dec 2017/Jan 2018 and Jun/July 2018.

In Feb/March 2018, we had 5 long-term care contracts (AAA) were in development for longer than usual due to extended negotiations with vendors.

The data points were higher than normal in the development and review measures in January 2019. This is partly due to the higher than average number (12) of contracts that were executed in the month of January. There were quite a few IT agreements that were executed in January and IT contracts require longer periods of development and review.

We only had one contract executed in the month of November, which took longer than usual to develop due to agreement management changeover and lag time between drafting periods.

 

Our development KPI was much lower this month. This is most likely because most of the agreements executed in January 2020 were amendments which take less time to develop with program staff and are able to enter the routing process more quickly.

 

No contracts were routed during the month of February 2020

 

The COVID pandemic has allowed staff to work at home and prioritize drafting/routing/signing agreements. Reviewers are reviewing/signing things more quickly, so we are able to move things through much more quickly than normal. Additionally, the bulk of our contracts need to be renewed by 6/30, so Grants and Contracts staff have been working diligently to get things done in a timely manner as to not push everything through at one time.

 

The KPIs in August are lower than normal – this is because only 1 agreement was executed, and due to the timeline and nature of the agreement, it needed to be expedited and therefore did not reach the normal threshold for # of days in the review/signature stages

Last updated:  10/15/2020

Strategy

The Grants and Contracts unit is currently engaged in three process improvement projects to introduce Lean-agile procurement techniques to contracting, grant issuance and monitoring, and IE&E procurement. This approach stresses collaboration between people as a key success factor.

The goals are to:

1. Reduce preparation efforts and rework as much as possible (reduce waste);

2. Eliminate variation so that creation and comparison of multiple proposals/contracts becomes as easy as possible; and

3. Reduce time to execution which will allow for quicker implementations.

Of particular note is the quality improvement project for the contracting process, which began in Fall 2017, with the purpose of reducing the amount of time taken to execute a contract from the time drafting begins to a final signature. In order to execute agreements that enable work to happen on schedule and within budget, contracts need to be drafted, routed, and signed for execution in a timely manner.  In order for contracts to guide the delivery of results, contract language related to business need and expectations must be clear, accurate, and understood by all parties. The current process related to drafting, routing, and executing contracts involves many required reviewers and signatories per the Agency of Administration’s Bulletin 3.5 requirements. The focus has been on streamlining the process while also ensuring that all requirements of Bulletin 3.5 are adhered to and that reviewers have adequate time to perform their review. The project is currently in Phase 3 of a six phase process and is expected to be fully implemented by January 2019.

KPIs were developed to measure the amount of time taken in the drafting, routing, and final execution phases of the contracting process. These KPIs present a more useful story once able to be compared with measurements taken after final implementation of the contract improvement project.

Scorecard Result Container Indicator Measure Action Actual Value Target Value Tag S R I P PM A m/d/yy m/d/yyyy