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RFP Rater

Runaway and Homeless Youth Drop-In Centers Request for Proposals – EPIN: 26018I0002

Department of Youth and Community Development

Issue Date 12/07/2017 • Close Date 01/24/2018

Risk Profile

Score Summary

The overall score for this Request for Proposals is 53 percent.

Background

This request for proposals (“RFP”) is for the operation of Drop-In Centers for runaway and homeless youth (“RHY”), youth at risk of becoming homelessness, and their families. Drop-In Centers are not shelters, but rather, “resource hubs for the whole borough in which they are located.”  They provide an array of supports to prevent and address youth homelessness, including basic food, clean clothing, restrooms, crisis intervention, needs assessments, counseling, case management services, shelter referrals, training, and more. There are two kinds of Drop-In Centers identified in this RFP:

  • Competition 1: Daytime Drop-In Centers: Five contract awards, including two awards for Daytime Drop-In Centers located in Manhattan
  • Competition 2: 24-Hour Drop-In Centers: Two contract awards, including one award for a 24-Hour Drop-In Center in Manhattan.

Providers seeking to operate both kinds of centers must submit separate proposals for each. The Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) will administer the contracts under this program.

Key Points

Perpetuation of Inadequate Funding

The overall funding structure for the Drop-In Centers makes this program a risky undertaking for organizations that are not already providing these services, as well as for those without existing resources to compensate for the unfunded mandates in the RFP. The lack of start-up funding is likely a barrier to entry for many providers—especially with respect to the 24-Hour Drop-In Centers. These centers require round-the-clock staffing, which makes personnel planning and budgeting more complex. In addition, the growing compliance, technology, and training requirements for both Drop-In Centers and 24-Hour Centers have a real cost to providers, but the program funding does not support these added costs.

Even the service requirements of this RFP are problematic, because DYCD is adding a full day of service to the requirements (a 20 percent increase in service) while increasing the funding by only five percent over current contracts.  Existing RHY Drop-In Center contracts are already underfunded, so this new mandate will only exacerbate the financial strain caused by this program.

Underfunded Indirect Costs

Closely related to the overall underfunding of this program is DYCD’s continued restriction of indirect costs.  The RFP allows a maximum indirect cost reimbursement rate of ten percent, but it places larger reporting, compliance, and administrative burdens on the service provider than the previous contracts did. It does not allow for negotiation of an indirect cost reimbursement rate. The RFP does, however, allow for cost-of-living adjustments and increases in indirect costs after Fiscal Year 2019. If these increases (and the base funding) were aligned with actual costs, they would contribute to the sustainability of nonprofit human services organizations.

Extension of Time to Respond

This RFP was released on December 7, 2017, and responses were originally due on January 10, 2018.  This gave providers less than six weeks to respond.  In addition, major religious and secular holidays fell within the response period, leaving providers with well under 30 business days to craft their responses.  Given the RFP requirements (most notably the need for five community partnership agreements and the requirement of separate proposals for those that seek to operate both Daytime and 24-Hour Centers), this timeline was unrealistic and not conducive to high-quality proposals.  The deadline was extended by addendum to January 24, which alleviates some of the administrative pressure, but in general, RFPs should allow at least six weeks for providers to respond. For more complex RFPs, such as this one, that period should be even longer.

HSC’s Methodology

The HSC RFP Rater assesses the feasibility, opportunities, and risk in City and State human services procurements. Rater scores are based on the RFP and related documents available to the public via New York City’s HHS Accelerator or New York State’s Grants Gateway. The rater consists of 60 questions developed and tested by a team of procurement professionals. The questions are based on information that is necessary to help prospective proposers assess risk.

Each answer is weighted based on the degree of risk inherent in the subject of the question. Answers that imply low to moderate risk are allotted points on a lower scale range compared to higher risk questions. For compound questions, the answer to both parts must be “yes” or “not applicable” to be considered low risk. Scores are calculated by adding all the question scores together. The higher the score, the greater the risk. The scoring range is from 60 to 230, with zero percent risk equal to a score of 60 and the maximum risk score or 100% equal to 230 points. Users can view the answer to each question by clicking the down arrow next to each section to expand the section.

The HSC RFP Rater does not substitute for the due diligence necessary to inform individual organization decisions.

Tracie Robinson

Low Risk
High Risk

Program Design

Questions

1. Does the RFP include a clear scope of services?
Yes
2. Funding notwithstanding, is the program model/service design likely to produce the goals sought in the RFP?
Yes
3. Does the RFP allow for program innovation or service adaptation to meet community/population need?
Yes
4. If applicable, does the RFP include additional documents that enable a thorough review of program model, contract terms and conditions, or award agreements?
No
Low Risk
High Risk

Operating Requirements

Questions

1. Does the RFP detail or include an Appendix that spells out the terms and conditions for new contracts or delineate any changes in terms and conditions for renewals?
Yes
2. Does the RFP require staff to be credentialed, certified or licensed and allow a study or supervision plan for uncertified or unlicensed staff while they are pursuing required credentials?
Yes
3. Does the RFP specify caseload or staffing ratios and include a rationale for the methodology used?
Yes
4. Does the RFP specify staff:supervisor ratios and include a rationale for the methodology used?
No
5. Does the RFP require the use of a particular MIS system, HIT platform, case management or financial system?
Yes
6. Does the RFP allow shared staffing, equipment, vehicles, space or other efficiencies?
No
7. Does the RFP require operating licenses or permits that must be obtained from a city/state agency or department that is not the issuing agency?
Yes
8. If the issuing agency requires reporting and compliance activities, do they create an administrative burden and are these costs covered by the funding and built into the budget?
No
9. Does the RFP include specifications about organizational capacity to handle program administration: claiming/billing, reporting, compliance, and oversight requirements and are these costs built into the budget model?
No
10. Does the program require prior approval from multiple city or state agencies before beginning operations?
No
11. Does the RFP or Appendix include data governance rules describing ownership, portability, use and provision of provider access to program/client data and reports?
No
12. Does the RFP provide flexibility to amend budgets across line items or budget categories within the overall contract amount?
No
13. Does the RFP require the applicant organization to deliver services or operate programs in locations where it does not have site control?
No
14. Does the RFP or Appendix specify the process for year-end reconciliation?
Yes
15. Are payment terms (e.g., timeliness, advances, and recoupment) detailed in the RFP or Appendix?
Yes
16. To meet the operating requirements of the RFP will successful applicants be expected to submit paper copies of all invoices?
No
17. To meet the requirements of the RFP will successful applicants be expected to submit employee timesheets?
No
18. Does the RFP include additional documents that enable a thorough review of program model, funding, contract terms and conditions or award agreements?
No
Low Risk
High Risk

Financial Adequacy

Questions

1. Does the RFP provide resources to train, certify or credential staff and provide resources for coverage while staff are in training?
No
2. Does the RFP include requirements to hire residents, public assistance recipients, consumers/peers and provide resources in the budget model for recruitment, training, and supervision?
No
3. Does the RFP rate structure permit providers to pay a prevailing or competitive wage?
No
4. Does the RFP include a price/fee/rate per participant that supports program expenses, program outcomes and program administration?
No
5. Does the RFP allow the use of a federally approved indirect rate or allow a minimum of 15% overhead/indirect rate?
No
6. Do rates cover facility costs for owned/leased space?
No
7. Does the RFP limit the calculation of overhead to direct client services (no org admin)?
No
8. Does the RFP permit the organization to negotiate an indirect rate post-award?
No
9. Is start-up funding available for new programs?
No
10. Are resources available to support the technology, reporting, evaluation and monitoring activities associated with evidence-based or performance-based program models?
No
11. Is the rate methodology/budget model transparent and based on the actual cost of running a quality program?
No
12. Is close-out funding available to cover space, severance, vacation and other liabilities when the contract or program ends?
No
13. Does the RFP include a commitment to prompt payment?
Yes
14. Does the RFP budget model allow interest costs in the event of late payment?
No
15. Does the RFP include or require any private match (cash or in-kind) in its budget model?
No
Low Risk
High Risk

Performance Expectations

Questions

1. Does the RFP include enrollment and/or utilization targets that can be achieved with the model and resources available?
No
2. Does the RFP direct or limit the source of client referrals (control of referrals, eligibility or enrollment)?
No
3. Are RFP expectations for performance aligned with program design and goals (can deliverables and metrics be achieved with proposed model)?
Yes
4. Is significant performance risk built into RFP requirements (expectations of >85% performance goals reached before full payment)?
No
Low Risk
High Risk

Compliance

Questions

1. Does the RFP include unfunded compliance activities or mandates?
Yes
2. Does the RFP or Appendix specify annual program and financial audit requirements?
Yes
3. Does the RFP or Appendix detail reporting requirements?
Yes
Low Risk
High Risk

Sustainability

Questions

1. Does the RFP advance a unified approach to data collection, reporting and compliance monitoring across programs?
No
2. Does the RFP support a unified approach to staff salaries/wage levels and benefits across programs?
No
3. Does the RFP require/assume that the bidder will bring infrastructure (administrative, technology or programmatic) or other resources (staffing, in-kind) to support the program?
Yes
4. Will this be a multi-year or renewable contract?
Yes
5. Will this be a year-to-year contract?
No
6. Does the RFP budget model/rate structure build in annual baseline operating cost escalator/increase over the term of the contract for salaries/COLA?
Yes
7. Does the RFP budget model/rate structure build in annual baseline operating cost escalator/increase over the term of the contract for employee benefits and OTPS?
No
8. Does the RFP require linkage agreements or MOUs with community organizations or networks and provide resources in the budget model for program-related coordination or collaboration activities?
No
Low Risk
High Risk

Procurement Process

Questions

1. Does the RFP provide a minimum of six weeks in total to respond/submit?
Yes
2. Does the RFP specify a methodology for assessing an applicant’s past performance (Vendex score, program and/or financial audits
No
3. Does the RFP review process or scoring give a higher weight to the lowest price/bid?
No
4. Does the RFP scoring for organization expertise, experience and management capacity align with program/service goals and expectations?
Yes
5. Is the RFP review process and rationale for scoring programs/services transparent?
Yes
6. Is the RFP review process and rationale for scoring operating requirements transparent?
Yes
7. Is the RFP review process and rationale for scoring budget transparent?
Yes
8. Is the review process and rationale for scoring successful performance transparent?
Yes

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