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Training and Reference Manual for the Department of Family and Protective Services Contract Oversight and Support

Brianna Jackson

Table of Contents

Chapter 1
Contract policy, training, and technical assistancePage 4 Contract Policy Training Technical Assistance

Chapter 2
Quality assurance and risk management.Page 7 Understanding procedures Signatory Policy Conducting annual quality assurance on site and desk review processes

Chapter 3
Coordinating and training at the annual Contracting ConferencePage 12 Basic Skills Development Trainings Fiscal Training Technical Training

Chapter 4
Contract data and risk management.Page 16 Data Reports Contract data system

The Contract and Oversight (COS) unit is a solution-oriented team that strives to guide and train staff in a manner that promotes continuous improvement throughout the contracting lifecycle. COS provides expertise and infrastructure necessary to ensure that DFPS contracting results in quality services, high accountability, minimized risk, and optimal value.

COS is responsible for both Client Service and Administrative contract infrastructure. Agency contract staff are located throughout the state of Texas which makes this training manual a necessity. Since COS is responsible for contracting infrastructure within the agency, staff must be able to reference specific guidance so that at any point, operations can continue.

The Department of Family and Protective Services Contract Oversight and Support does not have a training and reference manual. A manual is needed because new employees, who arent grasping the materials for procedures, are slowing down the process to meet deadlines when it comes to projects and basic skill development trainings (BSD). This manual can be used as a guiding reference when an employee needs further information about a certain aspect of a subject matter. This manual will also consolidate the policies and procedures that the Contract and Oversight Support department are responsible for, so that the staff can refer to them.

Chapter 1
Contract policy, Training, and Technical Assistance
One of the main functions of the Contract Oversight and Support division is the development of Contract Policy, conducting of training for contract staff and providing technical assistance to the same staff. COS sets contracting infrastructure through the development of policy. The COS unit is responsible for the ongoing development and maintenance of the DFPS policies, procedures, tools and forms.

Contract Policy Training Technical Assistance Contract Policy

COS develops and revises contract policies to guide all staff on various ways of performing contracting functions. One of the teams within the COS division is the Policy Development team. This team is responsible for making sure that all policies are clear and concise. When a new policy needs to be developed, staff must draft policy guidance, using all relative regulations and guidelines. One a draft is developed, COS staff must obtain stakeholder input and feedback. Stakeholder feedback and input is necessary to the process as it allow the front line users to determine if the policy developed is useful.

This page outlines the steps a staff member takes to process a policy. 1. Determine need for policy; 2. Draft policy guidance; 3. Obtain peer review of policy guidance; 4. Obtain stakeholder feedback; 5. Discuss final draft with COS staff and stakeholders; 6. Obtain management review; 7. Publish final policy; and 8. Inform front line staff of new policy guidance.

The Contract Oversight and Support division functions as the training unit for contract staff. All centralized training conducted for contract staff is taught by COS staff members. Trainings can be conducted in several formats to include face-to-face training, webinar training or CBT trainings. The Department of Family and Protective Services has determined that all contract staff must have a certain level of training to continue in their contracting duties. Some program areas have supplemental trainings to enhance the training provided by the COS section. Effective training is essential to the contracting process, especially since contract staff is located throughout the state in various regions. COS staff must coordinate with management of all program areas in order to provide effective training. There are certain factors that must be in place prior to setting up training for staff.

Technical Assistance
Technical Assistance is a main part of the COS responsibilities. Because contract staffs are regionalized across the state of Texas, technical is an intricate part of assisting staff with contract policy guidance housed on the Contract Handbook. Technical Assistance can be accomplished either through personal visits or through the technical assistance electronic mailbox. The mailbox is manned daily by a COS staff person. When questions are received through the technical assistance mailbox, the following procedures must be followed. 1. Technical Assistance boxed checked multiple times a day; 2. Questions are circulated to appropriate staff to prepare a response; 3. Responses are received back for the various subject matter experts; 4. Questions are answered and closed out of the mailbox within 5 days; and 5. Questions are logged and filed by subject matter.

Chapter 2
Quality Assurance and Risk Management

Quality Assurance in the COS department is one of the most important things that we have. Maintaining a desired level of quality within our services is a reason why we oversee and manage the contracts that we do. Quality Reviews are used by COS and the agency to determine how well programs understand and implement contracting policies. The Quality Assurance team must understand all contract handbook policies while having the ability to apply polices according to their intent. Sometimes specific programs areas request a quality review so that management can determine if their staff needs additional training. Understanding Policies and Procedures Signatory Policy Conducting Annual Quality Assurance on site and Desk Review Processes

Understanding Policies and Procedures

The COS Quality Assurance Team must understand all policies and procedures in the Contract Handbook as this is the tool for measuring compliance. Before quality assurance reviews are conducted, staff review the contract handbook to determine the highest priority policies that must be tested for compliance. In order to accomplish the annual Quality Assurance review, the following must be accomplished: 1. A thorough understanding of all new policy and procedures development or revised in the last year; 2. Team discussions about policy guidance and the its intent; 3. Obtain management guidance on policy clarifications for intended review;

4. Communicate with program area on tool development which includes policy references for compliance testing; 5. Receive feedback from program areas; and 6. Finalize policy and procedures to be tested during the year.

Signatory Policy
Signatory policy is one of the most important policies in the agency. Since the agency uses contracting as the main method for providing services in the communities throughout the state, it is important for staff to understand the criticalness of the policy. Contract staff need to understand who in the agency is the appropriate signatory for agency contracts at the same time, they need to follow accurate procedures to determine who the appropriate contract signatory. In order to determine the accurate signatory, staff must follow the agencys operating policy for determining signatory. This policy is an operating policy because it is applicable to not only contracting, but to all aspects of the agency. Staff should complete the following steps to determine the agencys signatory: 1. Review the Signatory operating policy; 2. Determine the contract type and amount; 3. Route the contract to the appropriate signatory; and 4. File the executed routing form and contract in the contract file. In order to determine the appropriate signatory for the contractor, staff must complete the following steps: 1. Review the contract handbook policy regarding contractor signatory; 2. Forward an electronic version of the Contractors Signatory Designation, Form 2044 to the contractor; 3. Obtain the executed form from the contractor;

4. Check executed contract against executed form for accuracy and completeness; and 5. File executed form in the contract file for future reference.

Conducting Annual Quality Assurance on site and Desk Review Processes

Quality Assurance Review, both on-site and desk reviews allow COS to determine the level of compliance against contracting handbook policies. All contract staff at some point will encounter a quality assurance review. These reviews are designed to assess if the agency has compliance issues in specific areas prior to outside auditors. Agency executives are briefed on compliance levels by program. Written reports are prepared and each program area is required to prepare a management response. Each year, COS staff must work with program management to determine specific areas of interest for annual quality reviews. Staff review all relevant policies related to the subject matter under review. Both on-site and desk reviews are performed each year. On-site reviews are where COS staff travel to specific contracting regions and work with regional contract staff to perform the review. Desk reviews are review completed through a request for data or documentation from contract staff and are completed in the main office. The process for completing the quality reviews depends on whether it is an on-site or a desk review. On-site reviews receive the most scrutiny. The reviews require COS staff to interact with program area management and staff. In order to accomplish the review, COS staff must: 1. Work with program management to determine areas to visit; 2. Examine specific areas to review based on risk; 3. Create a tool to test compliance based on agreed upon policies; 4. Forward tool to program areas for feedback and input; 5. Incorporate feedback and input from program areas into tool; 6. Coordinate with staff to arrange visit times and dates;

7. Forward tool along with specific files to be reviewed to program areas; 8. COS staff travel to specified areas and test compliance; 9. Prepare summary documents for program areas based on non-compliance areas; 10. Allow time for program areas to respond to findings; Quality Assurance Desk Reviews are reviews that assist in managing the compliance process. These reviews allow the Contract Oversight and Support division to cover more ground with the limited number of personnel resources. These reviews are completed either by requesting documentation from contract staff or by review data elements maintained in the contracting record system. Some examples of Quality Assurance Desk Reviews are: 1. Risk Assessment Desk Review; 2. Monitoring Report Desk Review; 3. Disallowance Desk Review; 4. Monitoring History Desk Review; and 5. Procurement Waiver Desk Review. These reviews help assess how well staff have followed the policies outlined in the contract handbook. To accomplish these reviews COS staff work with regional contract staff and follow the procedures below: 1. Identify the appropriate desk review; 2. Determine what program area to review; 3. Review previous desk reviews to determine if there are any specific areas that need to be followed up on; 4. Assigned staff to perform review; 5. Conduct review keeping in mind any limitations and concerns from program areas; 6. Prepare findings of review; 7. Obtain internal COS management review;

8. Distribute report to program areas for review and management response; and 9. Incorporate management response and finalize report.


Chapter 3
Coordinating and Training at the Annual Contracting Conference
The Contract Oversight and Support division functions as the training unit for contract staff. Annually, COS coordinates and administers and Annual Contracting Conference for all contract staff throughout the State of Texas. This conference is a 3 day conference which incorporates Basic Skills Development Trainings, Fiscal Trainings and Technical Trainings.

The Contracting Conference is the agencys way of making sure that all contract staff receives continued training is various subjects. COS works with all management staff to identify topics based on need and to coordinate with professional trainers to fulfill the training need. If staff have not attended the regular Basic Skills Development Trainings, then these sessions are incorporated into the Contracting Conference in an effort to make sure that new staff have the skills needed to hit the ground running. Basic Skills Development Trainings Fiscal Training Technical Training

Basic Skills Development Trainings

The Contract Oversight and Support division functions as the training unit for contract staff. All centralized training conducted for contract staff includes Basic Skill Development training. All new contracting staff must receive Basic Skills Development Training within 3 months of them being employed in a contracting area.

Basic Skills Development Training, otherwise known as BSD incorporates basic contract lifecycle components in a 2.5 hour face-to-face training. Staff travel from all over the State of Texas to receive training. In order to prepare for an effective training, COS staff must coordinate with areas that need trained. There are certain factors that must be in place prior to setting up training for staff. This manual outlines requirements for specific trainings. Coordination with Contract staff management is the first step to accomplishing this task. As program areas hire new staff, a BSD can be offered on a quarterly basis. Once COS staff receives the names of new staff that will attend training, a date and location is secured and then the BSD is planned. 1. Confirm location and dates; 2. Obtain names of staff attending training; 3. Communicate with staff attending training about date and location; 4. Send CBTs to staff attending training with a requirement completion deadline; 5. Make assignments to COS staff regarding areas that are to be taught; 6. Prepare training aids and set up location the day before the training; 7. Conduct training; and 8. Obtain evaluations of training event.

Fiscal Training
Fiscal training for staff is critical to the management of contract compliance. Contract staff are responsible for assessing fiscal compliance for all contractors. This includes determining if contractors are billing items in accordance with the terms and conditions of the contract. Fiscal training has historically been a weak area for the agency.

When contract staff are hired, they are not required to have a certain level of knowledge related to the fiscal assessment of contract compliance. This lack of experience has proven to be a pitfall for the agency. Since fiscal

education or experience is not a requirement of employment, training on fiscal components is a strong need. Each year, there is a big push on performing fiscal training either at the Annual Contracting Conference or during the summer in a Training tour. This allows the agency to meet the demand of new staff and to enhance the skills of current staff. COS accomplishes fiscal training by setting up special trainings based on program needs. COS solicits feedback from program areas, and either contracts for a professional fiscal expert or prepares hands on training for staff on specific fiscal tools staff must use in their everyday work. To accomplish this task, follow the procedures below: 1. Determine areas needing training; 2. Determine method of training, preferably face-to-face; 3. Decide if training will be held regionally or centralized at the state office site; 4. Obtain specific feedback for program leadership and training participants on areas of struggle; 5. Use areas of struggle to develop training application exercises; 6. Train staff; 7. Obtain staff evaluations from training sessions; and 8. Use information obtain from training evaluations to improve the next set of fiscal trainings.

Technical Training
Included in the Annual Contracting Conference is technical training sessions. COS coordinates and hires a professional company to provide technical training such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, etc. These classes are hands on classes held in a mobile computer lab.


Providing technical training to contract staff helps them to more efficiently work. In an environment of limited resources, staff needs to be trained in tools that will assist them in doing their work. During the planning for the Annual Contracting Conference, the topic committee works with program areas to determine which technical classes will be included during the conference. Procedures for determining which classes should be guided by stakeholder feedback and input. Technical trainings are unique as they have to be completed by outside professionals. Accomplishing this task requires much coordination. 1. Once list of trainings is finalized, coordinate with technical training vendor; 2. Determine if training vendor can provide a mobile training lab of at least 20 computers; 3. Request issues from training participants; 4. Supply issues of struggle to training vendor so that the issues can be incorporated into the class; 5. Make sure that participants do not sign up for multiple classes since the slots for technical trainings are limited; and 6. Fill any last minute vacant slots with people from the waiting list.


Chapter 4
Contract data and Risk Management
The final aspect of this training manual covers data collection and risk management related to the data of contracts. COS is responsible for producing reports regarding contract data to various sources. Annual reports are produced for the individual program areas, agency Executive Management, the Texas Legislature, and the Legislative Budget Board among others. These reports are critical to the agencys mission in that management and outside organizations draw solid conclusions from the data maintained and produced regarding contracting data. Data Reports Contract Data System

Data Reports
Each quarter a series of standard data reports are produced and distributed to the program areas for their review. The reports outline missing data elements that are critical to the contracting process. Some elements such as a contract end date, a contract begin date, a contract amount, a contract signatory or a contract contact person must be accurately maintained at all times. To produce the quarterly data reports staff can refer to the internal COS share drive where all pre-determined queries live. These queries were written and saved so that the data information can be readily accessible. There is no need for staff to change any of the saved queries. Just follow the instructions below: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Run the saved queries on a quarterly basis; Check each query for any data discrepancies; Formulate the email for program areas based on the most recent distribution list; Email the reports generated from the queries to the distribution list; and Allow a two week timeframe for review and questions for stakeholders.

Contract Data System Contract Oversight and Support along with other Enterprise agencies use a centralized contract data system to maintain contract data and records. The system title is Health and Human Services Contract and Administration Tracking System, also known as HCATS. The HCATS system allows staff who need access to contract data, regardless of location, to access the data. The system houses all contracts for the agency. Contract staff can run standard reports to see if a specific contractor has additional contracts throughout the state.


The system restricts users from making changes in the data records. It maintains historical information for referencing. Staff needing access to the HCATS system must contact COS to obtain access. Once access is granted, the procedures for gathering information are outlined below: 1. Request access to HCATS using the standard form; 2. When able, review contract data elements required for data entry; 3. Reference the HCATS user manual for more detailed information on the meaning of each field in HCATS; and 4. Review detailed manual for required documents that must be uploaded into the HCATS system for all agency personnel access. Note: The HCATS policy manual is approximately 150 pages and changes frequently, therefore, it is not being attached or imbedded into this training manual.


Glossary of Terms
Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) Responsible for investigating charges of abuse, neglect or exploitation of children, elderly adults and adults with disabilities Contract Oversight and Support (COS) A unit within the Operations Division of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services that develops agency-wide policies and procedures related to the contract lifecycle, and provides support and technical assistance to staff with contracting responsibilities.

Contract Handbook An electronic handbook developed by the Contract Oversight and Support unit that houses and provides useful, and up-to-date information regarding DFPS contracting practices to all employees involved in the contracting process. Stakeholder A person, group or organization that has interest or concern in an organization. Quality Assurance Review A quality assurance process usually conducted by independent reviewers to verify the proper executions of product quality control and follow up actions of non-conformance. Program A division within the Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)charged with providing services to clients. DFPS has four distinct program areas: Adult Protective Services;

Child Protective Services; Residential Child Care Services; and Prevention and Early Intervention.

Technical Assistance Development aid or development cooperation is financial aid given by governments and other agencies to support the economic, environmental, social and political development Training The action of teaching a person or animal a particular skill or type of behavior Basic Skill Development (BSD) A 2.5 day face-to-face training session for newly hired contract management staff that explores all phases of the contracting lifecycle Annual Conference A 3 day annual training event for all DFPS contacting staff that includes various training topics to include fiscal training, technical training, basic skill and other specialized training requested by various program areas. Infrastructure The basic physical and organizational structures and facilities (e.g., buildings, roads, and power supplies) needed for the operation of a society or enterprise On-Site A contract file quality assurance review conducted at the site of a specific program area rather than conducted in the office Desk Review Review of initial data provided by a manufacturer when they initiate registration of products to some Eco label systems

Texas Legislature The Legislature of the state of Texas is the state legislature of Texas. The legislature is a bicameral body composed of a 31-member Senate and a 150member House of Representatives Legislative Budget Board a permanent joint committee of the Texas Legislature that develops budget and policy recommendations for legislative appropriations, completes fiscal analyses for proposed legislation, and conducts evaluations and reviews to improve the efficiency and performance of state and local