1. How do I find out the status of a contract/amendment which has been submitted to OCR?
If you are an agency with CFMS access (Contracts Financial Management System) go to the KENT screen for contract status and KAMD screen for amendment status. CFMS is set up so that you can review the progress of the contract/amendment submitted. If you do not have access to CFMS and want to check status, you can send an email to your assigned analyst or to DOA-OCRhelpdesk@la.gov. OCR monitors the helpdesk email box frequently and will respond as quickly as possible.
2. How long will it take to get a contract or amendment approved by OCR?
It is OCR’s aim to process contracts within 3 weeks of receipt of the contract, however, when file documentation is incomplete or revisions are necessary, the processing time can be greater than 3 weeks.
3. Can OCR expedite the processing of a contract and/or amendment?
In order to efficiently process the large number of contracts and amendments which require OCR approval, it is our policy to process these contracts/amendments in the order in which they are received, however, it is occasionally necessary to expedite certain contracts. Our goal is to return every contract as expeditiously as possible. Prudence in requesting expedited service is recommended. Be mindful that deviating from our standard first-in/first-out review process delays the review of contracts submitted prior to yours and consequently the same happens to your contract when others request expedited service. If you need to request expedited service, please do so by sending an email to DOA-OCRhelpdesk@la.gov.
4. If a contractor is a sole proprietor, do we need a Board Resolution?
5. How do I find out if the contractor has filed a Disclosure of Ownership?
If a contractor has filed a Disclosure of Ownership it is listed under “Amendments on File” on the contractor’s record in the Secretary of State’s database, http://www.sos.louisiana.gov/tabid/819/Default.aspx
6. If an amendment is close to expiration and I still need time to prepare it, what can I do to avoid disapproval due to untimely submittal?
When justified, OCR will accept faxed copies of amendments allowing agencies more time to obtain original signatures and attachments. Faxed copies must be stamped ‘received’ by OCR before the expiration date of the contract. If timeliness may present a problem, consult your agency’s OCR analyst for additional guidance BEFORE the contract’s expiration date. An expired contract cannot be resurrected. If permitted by law and regulations, a new contract must be prepared.
7. Can you please advise if OCR has or will provide guidelines on House Bill 719 which amended R.S. 39:1514 which authorizes provision for 5 year contracts?
HB 719 authorized new contracts to be entered into for more than three years, provided they are justified and approved by OCR and the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget (JLCB). OCR is developing a process for this 5 year justification/review/and JLCB approval process.
If an RFP is issued, justification for approval of a 5 year contract must be submitted with the draft RFP and RFP must clearly advise the proposers that a 5 year contract is subject to JLCB approval. All contracts for consideration, must be submitted to OCR prior to contract execution.
All other terms and conditions of R.S. 39:1514 shall also be satisfied.
8. Do you know of any statutes which indicate to an agency what can/can't/shouldn't be done with a contractor who failed to meet its contractual goals/objectives/deliverables?
Contractors which fail to meet their contractual goals and objectives or to deliver the promised services, may be in breach of the contract. Agencies should review the contract in question and consult with legal counsel to determine what remedies may be available, including submittal of the contract controversy to the Commissioner of Administration, in accordance with R.S. 39:1525.
Prior to contracting, agencies should carefully consider the qualities of the contractor. R.S. 39:1505 provides that an agency must make a written determination of the responsibility of an offerer, before entering into a contract. OCR rules further provide at LAC Title 34, Part V, § 136, that in order to be awarded a contract, an offerer must meet standards including financial stability, experience, skills, integrity, and performance. “Contractors who are seriously delinquent in current contract performance, considering the number of contracts and the extent of delinquencies of each, shall in the absence of compelling evidence to the contrary or compelling circumstances, be presumed to be unable to fulfill the requirement.”
OCR rules also provide that no contract for consulting services for $50,000 or more, or for social services for $250,000 or more, shall be awarded unless the head of the agency has determined that the contractor is responsible. A written statement of facts on which this determination was made must be placed in the file. Additional detail on what sources must be consulted is located in § 136 E.
9.What is the limit we can spend with a vendor for Professional Services before sending out for RFP?
There is no dollar limit for contracts for Professional services. Professional services contracts do not require the RFP process. The list of occupations which qualify as professional services is limited to those in R.S. 39:1484 A(18). It includes, but is not limited to, doctors, lawyers, architects, engineers and other professions founded upon prolonged and specialized intellectual training.
10. Can a contract with a certain vendor for consulting services be renewed annually if it does not exceed $49,999 in a 12 month period or from fiscal year to fiscal year, and was not procured with an RFP?
No. RS 39:1496 B does not allow contracts for consulting services to exceed $49,999 regardless of the time frame of the contract. If a contract for consulting services exceeds $49,999 regardless of time duration issuance of an RFP, for a replacement, unless otherwise justified, may be required. Service requirements shall not be artificially divided so as to exempt contracts from the request for proposal process.
11. How do I know if a contract needs Civil Service approval?
All contracts which do not fall under an exemption found here http://www.civilservice.louisiana.gov/PROGASST/Contracts/contractsexempt.asp must be approved by Civil Service.
12. When a change to a contract is requested by OCR, must the change be initialed? If so, by whom?
Yes, ALL revisions are required to be initialed by both the agency and the contractor
13. Do amendments to contracts for legal services need to be approved by the Office of Risk Management as well as the Attorney General’s Office?
R.S.49:258 requires that all contracts for legal services be approved by the Attorney General's office with concurrence by the Commissioner of Administration, who has delegated this concurrence to the Director of Risk Management. Amendments to contracts for legal services are not required to be approved by the Office of Risk Management.
14. How does OCR handle requests for sole source procurement?
Some vendors may be considered as a sole source. If a vendor is the only source to provide the services or has some proprietary process or material associated with the service requirement and does not sell through distributors/dealers, the agency may be able to justify a request for sole source procurement. Sole source procurement justification letters must be received and approved by OCR’s director before the contract is received for approval by OCR.
15. Is it necessary to have a Request for Proposal approved by OCR before it is posted?
Though not required by law, prior review is strongly recommended. Use of a sample RFP template and contract can be provided the agency by OCR, upon request. This template is currently in its final stage of draft review and will soon be posted to OCRs website along with other useful guidelines. Use of the recommended RFP template will expedite review and was designed to address best practices for RFP solicitations and provide required protections for the state/agency.
16. What is the proper procedure for getting OCR to review an RFP before it is posted?
The agency should send a draft of the RFP to the OCR email address at DOA-OCRhelpdesk@la.gov. The agency should send a brief explanation of what services are being sought, and state whether an RFP has been used before, the CFMS # for the previous contract, and the expiration date of the previous contract. Agencies should allow approximately 4 weeks for RFP review. Use of the recommended template and use of the ‘tracked changes’ feature will expedite the review process.
17. What is the procedure for the Procurement Support Team (PST)?
RFPs or contracts for data processing/information technology contracts over $100,000 must be reviewed by the PST. At the discretion of the OCR Director, other consulting services contracts with a value greater than $140,000 may also require PST review. Meetings are held about every three weeks. The draft RFP or evaluation materials and contract must be submitted to the OCR general mailbox at least two weeks prior to the meeting date requested. More detailed guidelines for submittals to the PST can be found at the following link: http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/OCR/pst.htm.
18. Where can I find the Pre Qualified Offerer’s list?
It is located on our website at http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/OCR/pql.htm
19. Does OCR have a standard format for contracts which have been assigned to a new vendor? What is required by OCR when a vendor has changed its name during the term of an existing contract?
OCR does not have a standard format for assignment of a contract. Agencies should use the standard amendment format including the new name of the vendor, new tax id number (if applicable) and this document should be signed by an authorized person from new company. In the case of a corporation, a board resolution for this person should also be included. If a vendor has either merged with or been bought by a new company, OCR may require proof that the contract has been assigned to the new company and a description of the reorganization.
In the case of a simple name change, the standard amendment format may also be used.