A Performance Audit
An Audit Report on Selected Contracting Functions at the Health and Human Services Commission
The Health and Human Services Commission (Commission) improved its administration of certain contracting functions since a series of prior audit reports. However, it continued to have weaknesses in certain planning, procurement, and vendor selection functions. Specifically, for the contracts tested, the Commission:
- Did not accurately screen all vendor proposals for compliance with its solicitation requirements.
- Did not perform required vendor compliance verifications adequately or within required time frames.
- Did not perform proper planning to re-procure one of the contracts tested.
- Did not obtain all required certifications and disclosures from employees involved in procuring and managing its contracts.
Evaluating Vendor Proposals. To strengthen its procurement processes, the Commission implemented a quality control function for evaluating vendor proposals. As a result, the Commission’s final scores and rankings supported its award decisions for the contracts tested.
Use of SCOR. The Commission did not use its System of Contract Operation and Reporting (SCOR) as intended to manage the contracts tested.
STAIRS Contract. Although the Commission did not use SCOR as required, it effectively managed its contract for the support and maintenance of the State of Texas Automated Information Reporting System through other mechanisms.
The Commission Did Not Screen All Vendor Proposals Accurately or Adequately Perform Required Vendor Compliance Verifications, and Did Not Properly Plan to Re-Procure One of Its Contracts
The Commission did not consistently follow its processes and guidance for certain planning, procurement, and vendor selection functions. Specifically, the Commission did not screen all vendor proposals accurately or adequately perform required vendor compliance verifications. The Commission also made an emergency procurement that it could have avoided if it had properly planned to re-procure one of its contracts.
Similar to the findings in a November 2018 audit of selected Commission contracts, the Commission did not consistently obtain statutorily required certifications and disclosures from its employees for the contracts audited. The Commission did, however, improve its compliance with the requirement to obtain disclosures from vendors for applicable contracts tested.
The Commission Had Processes and Controls in Place to Ensure That Vendor Proposals Were Evaluated Accurately
Since a July 2018 audit report on the Commission’s scoring and evaluation of selected procurements, the Commission made significant improvements to its processes for evaluating vendor proposals and the Commission’s final scores and rankings supported its award decisions.
The Commission implemented the System of Contract Operation and Reporting (SCOR) in September 2017 to provide one system of record for the management and reporting of all health and human services contracts. The Commission ensured that payment amounts were accurately reflected in SCOR. However, the Commission did not consistently use SCOR to manage its contracts as intended. Specifically, the Commission did not consistently (1) comply with its requirements for uploading documentation into SCOR or (2) use the features of SCOR designed to help it monitor its contracts.
The Commission Consistently Reported Contract Information to the Legislative Budget Board; However, It Should Improve the Accuracy and Timeliness of Its Reporting
The Commission consistently reported its contracts and amendments to the Legislative Budget Board as required by the Texas Government Code and the General Appropriations Act. However, it did not accurately report some contract information and did not consistently complete the reporting within required time frames.
The Commission contracted with Fairbanks, LLC to support and maintain the State of Texas Automated Information Reporting System (STAIRS), the Commission’s web-based application for collecting and processing financial and statistical data. The Commission verified that the vendor performed according to the terms of the contract and that it received the contracted services.
Graphics, Media, Supporting documents