Results-Driven Contracting

Many of the most important functions of state and local governments – from building and maintaining roads to housing the homeless – involve contracting for goods and services supplied by the private sector. Increasing the effectiveness of procurements is therefore an essential component of improving governments’ overall performance in creating public value. Unfortunately, governments often treat procurement as a back office administrative function, rather than as a core part of their strategy for delivering better performance. Governments adopt inappropriate procurement strategies and contract types that are not aligned with their goals. Procurements can be overly prescriptive and regulated, stifling innovation and reducing competition. Contractor performance is rarely tracked in a meaningful manner. Contract management tends to focus on compliance instead of performance improvement, with contractors held accountable for inputs and activities rather than outcomes and impacts (if performance is measured at all). Governments make insufficient use of data on past performance in making future procurement decisions, and tend not to incorporate performance incentives into contracts.

The Results-Driven Contracting (RDC) strategies developed by the Government Performance Lab help state and local governments improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of contracted products and services and encourage better alignment of contracted spending with a government’s needs and priorities. See information about implementing RDC strategies below, or browse related resources in our RDC Library.

Boston, MA Asphalt Resurfacing

The Boston Public Works Department’s  contracts for road resurfacing were overly focused on achieving mileage targets to the detriment of other key goals, such as maintaining steady work flows and minimizing inconvenience to constituents. With pro-bono technical assistance from the GPL, the city incorporated results-driven contracting strategies to reorient the roadway resurfacing contracts around a holistic set of goals, provide vendors with incentives to meet these goals, and increase the flow of performance data enabling the Department to course correct issues in real-time. The...

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Boston, MA Capital Project IT System

The City of Boston spends over $120 million on construction projects every year but lacked the infrastructure to systematically share project information and effectively coordinate project management across departments. As a result, multi-departmental projects were falling behind schedule and running over budget. With pro-bono technical assistance from the GPL, the city launched a problem-based procurement for a cross-department capital project management IT system. The procurement aimed to standardize project management processes, increase the flow of data,...

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Boston, MA Procurement for Bike Share Operator

Boston faced a number of challenges with its bike share system – some stations frequently had no available bikes while others were completely full, total ridership was lower than expected, and access was limited in low-income and minority communities. To address these challenges, the GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help the city reshape the bike share system through the procurement of a new system operator. The procurement implemented performance metrics that better...

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Boston, MA Vendor Diversity

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help Boston improve its vendor diversity by contracting with more Minority- and Women-owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs).

Boston aimed to increase the racial and gender diversity of its vendors. The city established concrete vendor diversity goals and, with pro-bono technical assistance from the GPL, created a performance tracking system to monitor progress, streamline procurement practices to improve accessibility and transparency, and...

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Charleston, SC Waste Collection Services

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help Charleston increase price flexibility for the City's waste collection contracts, and ultimately, improve service delivery.

In Charleston, the city provides a mix of in-house and contracted waste collection services and seeks to ensure that seeks to ensure that all neighborhoods – regardless of service provider - receive safe, high-quality, and timely waste pick-up. With key contracts for waste collection services set to expire, the GPL...

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Illinois Wraparound Services for Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice-Involved Youth

In Illinois, approximately 700 youth per year become simultaneously involved in the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. These dually-involved youth experience very poor outcomes; on average 1,300 arrests per year and 230,000 days spent in congregate care. With pro-bono technical assistance from the GPL, the state tested a new model for supporting families involved with multiple agencies and has re-engineered data systems to improve performance management and referral processes. It now takes the state child welfare agency less than three days to identify a dually-involved youth,...

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Indianapolis, IN Technology Service Contracts

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help Indianapolis increase competition, reduce costs, improve service quality, and enhance the City’s information technology (IT) capabilities by adopting results-driven contracting strategies for its IT application services contracts.

The Government Performance Lab is using results-driven contracting strategies to enhance IT capacity in local government. In Indianapolis, the city sought to improve the performance and value for money of its...

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Little Rock, AR Vendor Report Cards

 

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help Little Rock adopt results-driven contracting strategies across its entire procurement portfolio, improving consistency, vendor management, and data usage throughout the City.

Little Rock aimed to reform its entire procurement portfolio and to improve the city’s procurement process. With pro-bono technical assistance from the GPL, a new outcomes-focused procurement template was designed based on in-depth interviews, and...

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Louisville, KY Strategic Procurement System

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help Louisville design and pilot a strategic procurement system to improve the outcomes of the City’s contracted dollars.

Mesa, AZ Blight Remediation

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the GPL supported the City of Mesa, AZ in procuring for a partner organization to implement the Love Your Neighborhood (LYN) program, which is a community engagement and home rehabilitation initiative. The City wanted to provide residents with resources and services to create sustainable improvements in a neighborhood that was particularly challenged with high instances of code violations, graffiti, police calls, and vacancies. A program was launched to help homeowners qualify for and implement home...

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Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth, and Families Performance Improvement

The GPL worked with DCYF on strategic planning to assess service needs and design an approach for improving services for children and families, executing a results-driven procurement for a new set of service contracts, strengthening their contract and provider performance management practices, and designing a strategic procurement management system to improve the results of contracted spending throughout the agency.

Saint Paul, MN Street Construction

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help Saint Paul expand the pool of vendors that bid on street reconstruction contracts and improve vendor management during construction.

The City of Saint Paul faced several key challenges with their street reconstruction contracts. Vendor competition was low, and projects ran past agreed-upon budgets and timelines. With pro bono technical assistance from the GPL, the city conducted a vendor survey and implemented pre-bid meetings to...

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San Francisco, CA Workforce Development Contract Alignment

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help San Francisco improve its workforce development outcomes by 1) better aligning services, funding, and contracting across departments and 2) incorporating performance-based payments in contracts held by the Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD).

Seattle, WA Homeless Service Contracts

Although the number of people experiencing homelessness in Seattle has risen over the past few years in part due to structural factors such as housing affordability and inadequate mental healthcare, the city’s increased spending on homeless services has had a limited impact on the problem. The city of Seattle held a conglomeration of contracts with service providers, but it renewed almost any contract that complied with requirements and rarely evaluated the effectiveness of the services themselves. The GPL worked with Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD) to...

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Tempe, AZ City Employee Wellness

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help the City of Tempe apply results-driven contracting strategies to improve the outcomes of its employee wellness program.

In Tempe, the city’s employee wellness program provides low-intensity supportive health and wellness services to all employees. However, the city had not clearly articulated the goals of the program nor set in place a method for evaluating the impact of the services. With the help of the GPL, Tempe reworked the...

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Washington, DC Workforce Development Agency Coordination

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help Washington, D.C. apply results-driven contracting strategies to improve the outcomes of its workforce development services.

Wichita, KS Ground Maintenance Contracts

As part of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ What Works Cities initiative, the GPL provided pro bono technical assistance to help Wichita reform its solicitations for grounds maintenance and landscaping services to improve the quality of City parks while reducing costs.

Wichita aimed to improve the quality of the city’s parks while reducing costs. In 2015, grounds maintenance bid amounts were up 30 percent over the prior year, contractors were failing to meet parks inspectors’ quality standards, and Wichita City officials had received numerous complaints about the...

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Arizona Child Welfare Performance Improvement

Developing a performance-based contracting strategy for delivery of critical services to ensure children are placed in the most appropriate setting and are provided the most effective services

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Chicago, IL Homelessness Services Performance Improvement

Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services (DFSS) has been working to improve performance outcomes achieved by the shelter system, including addressing low exit rates into permanent housing, long lengths of homelessness, and a rising unsheltered population. To assist these efforts, the GPL:

  1. Assessed the current shelter system through site visits and analysis of historical performance data, and

  2. Executed $19 million in results-driven RFPs for the Department's shelter portfolio to reflect an updated understanding of the system'...

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Chicago, IL Workforce Services Performance Improvement

The Chicago Department of Family and Support Services’ workforce programs are designed to improve employment outcomes for high-need populations, but less than 40% of program participants have historically been priority populations, and the average 30-day job retention rate was only 54% across all programs in 2017. To help improve targeting and outcomes for these programs, the GPL assisted the city's Workforce Division by:

  1. Analyzing historical program data that had always been collected but never used to assess performance,
  2. Executing results-driven...
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