Privatization in Practice: Case Studies of Contracting for TANF Case Management. Procurement: Ensuring a Fair, Effective, And Competitive Process

03/01/2003

Selecting contractors is one of the most important tasks for the public agencies charged with administering the TANF contracts. Public agencies administering contracts have three main objectives for the procurement: (1) to attract qualified, competitive bidders, (2) to award contracts to the most capable providers, and (3) to protect the integrity of the selection process. While all three goals are affected by the way the procurement process is conducted, an agencys ability to attract qualified, competitive bidders also depends on the size, scope, and structure of contracts.

This chapter describes the variation across study sites in the competitiveness of the procurements and the steps involved in the procurement process. Section A discusses promoting competition  a key element in both selecting the best contractor and ensuring that contractors are motivated to perform at their best. Section B describes the "nuts and bolts" of the procurement process and the actions public agencies can take to ensure that the procurement process is fair and effective.

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