Report: MCFD contract management

The provincial government has released the Ernst & Young review of Ministry of Children and Family Development contract processes with its 6,500 contractors around BC. It’s an eye-opener – and an opportunity for the social services sector to work with government to improve the process to the benefit of all.

The review looked at how MCFD manages its 11,000 contracts, and considered processes through seven perspectives: Governance; People; Process; Technology; Knowledge; Outcomes and Indicators; and Market. All areas were found to have significant challenges. The report identifies these six gaps overall.

Contracting Strategy: Limited early engagement with key stakeholders and users to gain early consensus on needs and requirements, and lack of regular, formal market analysis to understand current conditions and any new innovations occurring in the provider market.

Contract Creation: Inadequate development of a performance measurement regime
that provides MCFD with the information it needs to understand if the services it is
purchasing are delivering the desired results, and application of inconsistent, outdated
methods for storing contracts and supporting documents.

Contract Implementation: No consistent approach to transitioning contracts from contract creators to contract managers to ensure all parties are aligned on contract contents, key processes and what role each will play during in life management.

In-Life Contract Management: Unclear definition and execution of roles and responsibilities, informal/inconsistent performance review meetings and no clear accountabilities for contract monitoring.

Contract Reviews: Limited application of existing post-contract evaluation procedures and documentation of lessons learned.

Renew and Exit: Information gained from post-contract evaluations is not used
systematically to support the decision to renew or exit.

Read the report below. Board Voice will be part of a working group on procurement and contracting at the Social Services Roundtable, where the issues identified in this report on MCFD will no doubt be valuable for that conversation.