The City's contracting policies and process are a significant source of common frustration to HSN members, diverting time and resources away from critical services. Human service nonprofits must deal with onerous and inconsistent contracts, forms, schedules and invoicing procedures, and contract certification can delay payment until months after the work has begun. In 2001, HSN's Contract Improvement Subcommittee developed a list of substantive proposals that form the basis of HSN's platform. Suggested changes include multi-year contracts, master contracts across departments, standardized forms and requirements, and timely payment schedules.
Supervisor Sophie Maxwell pledged her support to our proactive effort and asked HSN to draft legislation creating a City Nonprofit Contracting Task Force. The resolution passed the Board unanimously, and was signed by Mayor Brown in October 2001. The task force, with equal representation from nonprofits and city administrators, developed proposals to streamline the contracting and monitoring process. HSN recruited and successfully promoted an impressive slate of seven nonprofit representatives to serve on the Task Force.
The Task Force released its final report in June 2003. The report proposes significant changes that include master contracts within departments, standardized forms and requirements, and timely payment schedules. The success of this initiative depends on constant monitoring by HSN and nonprofit leaders to promote the adoption of the Task Force's recommendations and monitor the three-year implementation plan.