Legal Unit

Contracts: The median # of business days contracts are in routing for signature

13Sep 2020

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Notes on Methodology

In December 2018, a goal of 5 business days was set as a target for this measure.

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  • Agency of Human Services
  • Agency of Digital Services
  • Agency of Administration
  • Office of the Attorney General
  • Department of Finance & Management (AOA)
  • 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.

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, collecting signatures from internal State reviewers, the Commissioner, and vendors can often takes longer as shown in the KPIs for Jan 2018 and July 2018.

In November 2018, there was only one agreement amendment to execute for the month. The higher than normal # of days it waited for signature is due to the vendor taking 3 weeks to sign the agreement.

We had 4 agreements executed in December 2018, 3 of which were high priority so review and signature times were expedited, reflected by lower-than-average KPI values.

In September 2019, our signature KPI was much lower because we had multiple high priority agreements that had to be expedited through the signature phase.

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.

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