HSU and DHS have established a work group to improve the way DHS/DSS does business with our members by sharing information and identifying process improvements to improve the procurement process and cash flow. In order to ensure that all of our members benefit from the work of HSU/DHS Contracts and Finance Work Group, we have compiled a “Finance Newsletter” where you will find information that will help your organization understand DHS’s contract management procedures and position you to better negotiate with the agency.
Topics covered in this newsletter include:
- Please make sure all “corrective action plans” for any open violations are submitted and up to date to avoid problems with registration
- All provider agencies should register to use PASSPORT and complete an electronic VENDEX http://www1.nyc.gov/site/passport/index.page
- If your contract is expiring, be sure to submit a new application to DSS as soon as possible. A new open RFP will be released soon – existing programs will likely find it easier to submit bids based on the current version so they should not delay submitting proposals.
- From FY2018 onward, all newly registered contracts are eligible for a 25% advance upon registration
- In order to draw down funds, budgets must be in Accelerator
- Programs may now submit more than one invoice at a time – you needn’t wait for an individual month to be paid prior to submitting the invoice for the following month
- If you are experiencing repeated requests for 100% verification, please contact your program administrator and go up the chain of command. If you are unable to get satisfactory results, please contact HSU for support.
- It is inappropriate for analysts to request 100% verification for every invoice your program sends. However, spot checks for individual lines or for unusual expenses are appropriate.
- Family shelter providers have moved from a quarterly invoicing process to monthly invoicing. Be sure to submit monthly invoices in a timely manner to ensure cash flow.
- The close out deadline is still September 1st. Many belatedly registered contracts still haven’t been closed. Even if your contract has amendments that are still pending, please be sure to close out the underlying contract now. DHS has confirmed via email that providers can go back later once the amendments are registered to revise the close out and drawn down funds from amendments. We can share this email upon request.
- All DHS adult and family shelter providers should have received a letter telling them when they will be called in to implement the model budgets. The first quartile of organizations whose budgets deviated the most from the model have already been called in for negotiations; the second group is going in now.
- If you do not know which group you are in, please contact Bill Dorante at DHS.
- Please note that the Street Homeless Service Portfolio including Drop-In Centers, Street Outreach Teams, Safe Haven and Stabilization Bed Programs are not included in this round of model budget implementation. HSU is advocating for model budgets to be created for these programs and implemented in FY2019.
Best practices for negotiations:
- Include all “new needs”, security and THRIVE amendments as well as COLAs
- New administrative overhead rate of 10% is inclusive of all of these “new” costs
- Factor in the age of your facility when requesting additional maintenance costs
- Ensure all job descriptions are accurate and up to date – use these to back-up the way you allocate direct expenses (e.g. if Vice Presidents of Shelter spend time running programs on site that is a direct expense, not administrative)
- Click here for a list of questions to consider while preparing for the negotiation
- All “new needs” requests will be processed through the new Service Now portal
- Non-emergency requests may be held until a service provider agency completes the model budget process
- Emergency requests should still be processed. If an analyst or program administrator denies a request pending the implementation of a model budget, go up the chain of command up to the Assistant Commissioner level for support. Contact HSU with any concerns or with examples of inappropriately denied requests