HARTFORD, Conn., Feb. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Connecticut Association of Nonprofits (CT Nonprofits) supports the memorandum sent earlier today by Office of Policy & Management Secretary Benjamin Barnes to the state's health and human services agency Commissioners. It outlines several areas of needed improvement within the state's contracting system that have been called for by Deborah Heinrich, Nonprofit Liaison to the Governor.
Currently the state procures health and human services through Purchase of Service (POS) contracts issued by the Departments of Social Services, Public Health, Children & Families, Corrections, Mental Health & Addiction Services, Developmental Services and the Judicial Branch Court Support Services Division. CT Nonprofits has worked with the state on numerous contracting issues affecting over 2,000 POS contracts.
Nonprofits are critical partners with the state in providing high quality, efficient, cost-effective health and human services on the state's behalf at a great savings to taxpayers. Unfortunately, the state's contracting system is fraught with administrative inefficiencies and duplication that create endless and unnecessary challenges for both the state and nonprofits.
Oftentimes, state contracts are executed after the start date of the service being procured. This leaves nonprofits in a position to provide the necessary service without payment from the state, instead having to access lines of credit resulting in interest payments to the bank. Secretary Barnes notes in his memo, "the late execution of contracts imposes costs on nonprofit providers and is not an acceptable business practice for either the State or its providers." The memo calls for state agencies to submit an action plan to OPM by March 31, 2011 outlining steps to ensure that 95 percent or more of state contracts are executed no fewer than 15 days prior to the commencement of services.
The memo also calls for the use of multi-year contracts, which will cut down on costly administrative burdens for the state, nonprofits and, consequently, taxpayers. Finally, OPM will be establishing a workgroup to further streamline and standardize of the state's contracting process, including timely payments, budget flexibility and reporting requirements. Such changes will reduce the administrative burden while maintaining appropriate oversight and fiscal and programmatic accountability.
These important reforms are being spearheaded by Deb Heinrich, Nonprofit Liaison to the Governor. "It is clear that after less than a month on the job Ms. Heinrich is already having a significant impact on how the state does business with its nonprofit partners," said Ron Cretaro, CT Nonprofits' Executive Director. "In her role as Nonprofit Liaison, Ms. Heinrich will be empowered to facilitate important reform advocated for by the nonprofit community for years."
Connecticut Association of Nonprofits (CT Nonprofits) is the largest membership organization in the state dedicated exclusively to working with nonprofits in Connecticut. As the voice of nonprofits, the association has advanced the social and economic impact of nonprofits for over 30 years. CT Nonprofits helps members focus their energy on the people and communities they serve by connecting organizations with information, education, advocacy and collaboration. For more information, please visit www.ctnonprofits.org.
Press Contact: Jess Lyon Ι Co-Communications Ι 860.676.4400 Ι Jessica@cocommunications.com
SOURCE Connecticut Association of Nonprofits