Review of and Vote on Proposed Contracts ( see attachment for list of contracts)
Chairman Loftus asked if everyone had a chance to review the list of contracts and request letters to be voted on today. There are a couple of contracts on the vote sheet where the request letters came in after the 48 hour period of the open meetings act. Chairman Loftus asked for the letters to be readout loud since the Committee did have copies of the letters. This will allow the Committee to know the content of the letters prior to voting. Thereafter, all contracts on the vote sheet were read aloud along with the two request letters that came in after the 48 hour period of the open meetings act. One of the items on the vote sheet included an amendment to the call center contract with Chicago Lighthouse that now incorporates outbound calls – no new people will be hired but, this clarifies outgoing call costs as that detail was not included in original contract.
Member Gloede asked how many people with disabilities will be hired on the call center contract. Tom Simonds from the Governor’s office said that 8 People are on the job and that is equal to 70% of workers on this contract.
Matt Brown, CPO - General Services (CPO-GS), commented on the Food Service DNR agreement on the vote sheet, noting that the State occupies many building that house cafeterias within them and they take many different forms. Some of these buildings are newer, some are older and some have food service stations and some are full commercial kitchens. Mr. Brown stated that the Department of Natural Resources has a nice modern kitchen. As these opportunities arise, they should be probably be considered on a case by case basis in the future. The hope is to be able to provide good business rational as this category develops.
Chairman Loftus asked if there were any additional questions.
Member McCrimon: How many 10 year contracts have we done as a committee? I am now aware of those doing 10 year contracts. I also noticed that the annual report is not on the agenda.
Chairman Loftus: It was not on the agenda last year either. It has been submitted to the Director before going to the Governor’s office. I just took the lead from prior years. Everyone has had the opportunity to review and we can discuss.
Member Gloede: I have a question. Did the Agency request the 10 year contract?
Chairman Loftus: Yes, we don’t request the duration of a contract. The State Agency makes the determination.
CPO Brown: It is standard procurement practices for a data entry contract to be up to 10 years for long term relations.
Chairman Loftus called for a motion to approve the list of contracts read aloud by Brynn Henderson
Motion to Approve: Member Dickey
Second: Member Gloede
Tally of Votes: Members approved the contracts read aloud by Brynn Henderson with one no vote by Audrey McCrimon.
Chairman Loftus stated that two of the CPOs were invited and in attendance, Ben Bagby and Matt Brown to discuss the issue of posting of contracts and other methodology as well as preference categories.
Ben Bagby, CPO of Higher Education, said that he believes it is very important that the interested parties cooperate together to make this work. Further, he thinks that working together from the very early stages is the way to accomplish this. He has written up some draft procedures utilizing State Use contracts within higher education environment, and discussed these procedures with Chairman Loftus who pointed out a couple of things that Ben had missed. CPO Bagby stated that he plans to circulate these draft procedures to the Universities to give them an opportunity to comment on how to have that happen. He will follow up with the Universities at a scheduled March 4 meeting.
CPO Bagby asked early on for a copy of the list of workshops and what they do. He received a list of Products and services of what the workshops provide. However, in trying to identify the items each workshop provides, he did not have that list. For instance, if he wanted to work on paperclips, and find a workshop that does that it is something that he does not think anyone would want to go through 20 pages of workshops alphabetically, read through all the things they provide and find the one that does paper clips. It is just not a very efficient methodology. Therefore, we are working on that to make it easier. Chairman Loftus and CPO Bagby did discuss what we might do in the terms of identifying what might be a preferred item. Both Chairman Loftus and I are committed to working together on that. CPO Bagby also wanted to mention posting of State Use contracts. He believes that the contracts should be posted if for nothing else than transparency. One of the charges that the CPO’s have is to be as transparent as possible in what we are doing. The Procurement bulletin is the easy way to do that.
Member McCrimon: I am not sure I understand that these contracts before have not been posted and the process has now changed and the process that you now post.
CPO Bagby: If you are familiar with the Bulletin, you will find many types of notices. Notice of a sole source, notice of professional and artistic. There is not a place for State Use contracts, but I can put in an alert tab that would say State Use Contracts. The Bulletin was originally designed in 1998 for the competitive process and notices. One thing I have been trying to do with the bulletin in general is to allow for more transparency in all aspects of it. Unfortunately it is an old technology bulletin. The idea is to bring more transparency and it is evolutionary and it is better to move into it than not do it at all.
Member Dickey: What all does the Bulletin include?
CPO Bagby: Maybe the information you have on the vote sheet.
Member Dickey: I always held the vote sheet close to my heart. I thought it was rather confidential
Matt Brown, CPO General Services: I would like to shine more light on this bulletin function. I agree with Ben that relying on transparency serves the state better. Ben’s bulletin is a little different than mine. His targets higher education and mine is as it relates to State Agencies. I have the ability to post directly into the Procurement Bulletin simply as an award and it might not be as descriptive as it needs to be. What we are doing in the world of transparency is saying hey world, we have a reason at the State of Illinois to issue contracts in the interest of the State. Secondarily, we are able to provide public strategy as procurement officers and serve a purpose. We do have a very specific strategy as procurement officers by using transparency to expand opportunities to make sure we are relying on the latest and best information and educate on what we are.
Chairman Loftus: It is my understanding and correct me if I’m wrong here, but it is not that we are continually making changes to the State Use Program; changes are being made as it relates to Procurement Code that was changed drastically 3 1/2 years ago. We are just now getting to the point of looking at State Use. Ben, Matt and the other 2 CPO’s have worked tirelessly over the last 3 1/2 years trying to work through all changes that have been necessary to make all procurement comply with the new rules. They are just now getting to State Use and because State Use is driven by a Committee, that is why we are bringing it to you. They could, and in a lot of cases, just make these changes. They are given that appropriate authority by the code. I see it is somewhat of a courtesy for them to come to us and bring these issues in front of the Committee.
Dr. Bryson: Maybe we should all get together and work this out. Look at the Big Picture to find meaningful changes.
Chairman Loftus: I think maybe we should skip a meeting with Matt and Ben and let them have something for us at the next meeting. Would that work for you? If they have something prior to that, I am certain they can bring it to us. As far as them bringing something to the committee, can we plan on two meetings from now?
Ben requested a different format of the data Brynn and Corrie received from the new recertification applications of State Use vendors. Technically in house we have had some problems getting the data in that format. We are converting, after today, the updated information completely into the new data base which will allow them to go in and associate the service with the particular vendor. That way we will have a report to give to Ben and Matt for them to look into. We are making progress and getting to the point where they can analyze the data.
As I said earlier, the Annual Report was actually not on the agenda. I had inquired prior to this and I don’t think last year it was on the agenda and I took that same lead. Corrie and Brynn drafted it; I edited it and sent it to legal for their input. It went back to Corrie and Brynn and we all agreed it looked good and submitted it to you guys. It has not been sent to the Governor’s Office yet. If there are comments and or concerns, and if you think it needs to be something to be voted on, I need to know that now so we can back into it. Committee rules and if that is something we need to change to be voted on, please let me know. It had not been done in a timely fashion the last couple years so I am anxious to make sure we keep it on a very tight schedule. Personally, I think it is more of an administrative function. I think it is in pretty good shape now.
Member Strick: I think we should stay with the current process. Corrie and Brynn draft it, Chairman Loftus edits it, and then it goes to legal for comments and back for finalization with staff. It works well. There seems to be a lot of confusion about BEP and State Use.
Chairman Loftus: Paul Cerpa from the BEP program and I are drafting a joint memo that will go out to the Agencies that clarify the interpretative issues and State Use numbers will count toward BEP goals. In the e-mail I sent I asked for any comments about procedures. If it is a consensus, we would like to move forward. We will go ahead and work on our stuff and maybe take a stab at Committee responsibilities. We have not done that specifically before as I wanted to make sure we were on the right path. Are there any outstanding issues or any public members that wish to address? If not, we will adjourn.