Created with Sketch. 60%
RFP Rater

Special Initiatives Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP)

Department of Youth and Community Development

Issue Date 11/02/2018 • Close Date 12/10/2018

Risk Profile

Score Summary

The overall score for this Request for Proposals is 60% percent.

 

Background

This request for proposals (“RFP”) is for operation of the Special Initiatives Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) youth aged 14-24 throughout New York City. The Special Initiatives SYEP offers four different options: vulnerable youth (age 14-24), NYCHA Mayor’s Action Plan for Neighborhood Safety (age 14-24), NYCHA (age 14-24), and year-round sector focus (age 16-21). The goal of the Special Initiatives SYEP is to “…introduce youth to career pathways and the world of work while helping them build essential work-readiness skills and understand the educational prerequisites for their career and life goals.”

The Special Initiatives SYEP is complimentary to the Community-Based SYEP and the School-Based SYEP RFPs.  The New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (“DYCD”) is the contracting agency, and the anticipated contract start date will be March 1, 2019.

Note that HSC also rated the School-Based SYEP and Community-Based SYEP RFPs and the ratings are substantially similar to the Special Initiatives SYEP.

 

Key Points

Underfunding

Special Initiatives SYEP funding is based on a price per participant allotment and on its face this RFP reflects an increase in funding relative to previous RFPs. However, it is still not feasible to deliver a high quality program with the rates provided. Given the increased requirements for this program, notably securing space and staff to support the project-based experience and the additional needs that the participants served through this program require, a funding increase is essential.

Burdensome Paperwork

The Special Initiatives SYEP requires the provider to “collect information on the hours completed in project/work sessions attended by each participant” with paper forms. Although there is a possibility that a provider may not have access to a computer, paper timesheets waste administrative resources and time that could be allocated to programs. It is necessary that there be one digitized system to capture timekeeping and payroll, which eliminates the paper process.

Inadequate Time to Respond

This RFP was released on November 2, questions about the RFP are due on December 3 and the submission deadline is December 10.  If questions about the RFP are due on December 3 and there is no date from DYCD on how soon the answers to these questions will be released, it is not feasible for providers to incorporate this information into their proposals by December 10.

Similarly, since three SYEP RFPs were released, proposals are required for multiple sites, and with the Thanksgiving holiday, five weeks is not enough time to submit adequate proposals. Given the RFP requirements, this timeline was unrealistic and not conducive to high-quality proposals.  Each site operates with different geographic, demographic, and infrastructure challenges and advantages. Thus, providers cannot simply copy and paste their responses into multiple applications. 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. We encourage all City agencies to adopt more reasonable RFP timelines to allow for stronger applications and better programs.

Project-Based v. Work-Based

The RFP states that younger youth (age 14-15) will participate in project-based learning experiences. The risk in this model is the inadequate funding to support the increased requirements. Younger youth are given a $700 stipend for participating in six weeks of project-based learning experiences, which is a small amount compared to minimum wage.

Additionally, the stipend system may deter younger youth from applying for the SYEP since many participants depend on this income to support their families. According to the Youth Employment Task Force, 77% of SYEP youth are eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and 69% of SYEP youth are eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Similarly, providers may struggle in retaining younger youth participants for six weeks, especially if they find a summer job that pays minimum wage. DYCD would still require providers to fill the spot if younger youth drop out and the new participants would be weeks behind in the program. These new participants will not be able to receive the full $700 stipend since they have not completed the six week program.

Overall Program Design

This RFP is designed to serve multiple youth populations, which may be a challenge for providers who have expertise in serving a target population. Most providers are experts at a few target populations, such as foster care, court-involved, disabled, or disconnected youth, but not all, and so not having a targeted population poses a challenge to many providers.

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 is not a substitute for the due diligence necessary to inform individual organization decisions.

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?
No
3. Does the RFP allow for program innovation or service adaptation to meet community/population need?
No
4. If applicable, does the RFP include additional documents that enable a thorough review of program model, contract terms and conditions, or award agreements?
Yes
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?
No
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?
Yes
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?
No
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?
Yes
14. Does the RFP or Appendix specify the process for year-end reconciliation?
No
15. Are payment terms (e.g., timeliness, advances, and recoupment) detailed in the RFP or Appendix?
No
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?
Yes
18. Does the RFP include additional documents that enable a thorough review of program model, funding, contract terms and conditions or award agreements?
Yes
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?
No
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?
Yes
2. Does the RFP direct or limit the source of client referrals (control of referrals, eligibility or enrollment)?
Yes
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?
No
2. Does the RFP or Appendix specify annual program and financial audit requirements?
No
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?
No
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?
Yes
Low Risk
High Risk

Procurement Process

Questions

1. Does the RFP provide a minimum of six weeks in total to respond/submit?
No
2. Does the RFP specify a methodology for assessing an applicant’s past performance (Vendex score, program and/or financial audits
Yes
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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