November 1, 2013
Human Services Organizations Will Be Able to Apply for Funding Online, Saving Valuable Time and Resources
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda I. Gibbs today launched HHS Accelerator, the nation’s first electronic system to consolidate and streamline all social services procurement for a jurisdiction. The system was the largest reform to result from the commitment the Mayor made to strengthen non-profits after the recession. By eliminating a burdensome and duplicative paper process, it will make the procurement and contracting process more efficient for City agencies and human service organizations, mostly nonprofits. Over the next year, City health and human services agencies will release nearly two dozen RFPs that will result in contracts with a total value of approximately $100 million.
“New York City thrives on innovative thinking, and this new system clears the way for human services providers to focus their time and energy on designing creative programs that meet the needs of New Yorkers,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This groundbreaking development will lead to greater outcomes for New Yorkers and could serve as a resource for cities around the country.”
“Our years of collaborating with the human services sector have greatly influenced our efforts to redesign the City’s procurement process. Their feedback is built into the system, and dozens of providers played a hands-on role in educating their colleagues about the system’s benefits and encouraging them to sign up,” said Deputy Mayor Gibbs. “Thanks to their work, more than 1,000 providers are already using the system. We have laid the groundwork for City agencies and the health and human services sector to continue innovating in the years to come.”
“We are excited about this expansion to HHS Accelerator and look forward to submitting our first proposal,” said Sister Paulette LoMonaco, Executive Director of Good Shepherd Services. “We believe the system will improve our ability to deliver vital services by reducing burdensome aspects of the procurement process.”
“This is a big win for the sector and our clients,” said Michael Stoller, Executive Director of Human Services Council of New York, which represents hundreds of organizations. “Precious hours and money that were previously spent compiling documents can now be devoted to providing services. It has been a pleasure working with the City on this project.”
Launched in March 2013, the HHS Accelerator System is a web-based system maintained by the City of New York for use by human services providers and City agencies in order to manage procurement and financial activities. The system allows providers, at no cost, to create and manage their own secure, online accounts. It also provides a single location for document sharing with City agencies and other funders. Using an online prequalification application and service taxonomy, the system eliminates redundant and duplicative document requests, while also increasing transparency in the RFP process by making service definitions and program requirements clearer.
With the launch of the new functionality, HHS now allows providers to read about upcoming health and human services RFPs in one place and receive notification about RFPs for which they are qualified. A financial management module will also be used in the next fiscal year to manage budgets, invoices and payments. This capability will increase accuracy in accounting, improve efficiency in the exchange of financial information between agencies and providers, and offer much greater transparency in the budget and payment process.
Participating City agencies are Administration for Children’s Services; Department for the Aging; Department of Corrections; Department of Health and Mental Hygiene; Department of Homeless Services; Department of Probation; Department of Small Business Services; Department of Youth and Community Development; the Housing and Preservation Department; Human Resources Administration and the Office of the Criminal Justice Coordinator.
In 2013, New York City procured more than $16 billion worth of supplies, services and construction contracts. Human services contracts accounted for 33% of the total contract dollars awarded to providers, typically nonprofits. Annually, competitive contracts account for approximately 5,600 contracts, which are held by over 1,600 providers. Services range from mental health counseling, workforce training, foster care, and after school programing to senior centers, shelters and housing.
For more information on HHS Accelerator, visit www.nyc.gov.
Marc La Vorgna/Samantha Levine (212) 788-2958