June 28, 2016
From DCPS Parent, Becky Levin:
SCHOOL MEALS: IT’S NOT CLOSE TO OVER
Please see details on where we are regarding the school food contract, what next steps are to review the details, and what you can do (please get involved!) to ensure $40 million is invested in the best meals possible for DCPS students.
Please contact me with any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
It is a promising sign that our concerns regarding the DCPS school food contract are being heard. Members of Council have heard that it is not acceptable to push thru $40 million in contracts so late and attempt once again to evade oversight and scrutiny. Your calls, emails, and tweets made this happen — THANK YOU!
NOT DONE YET
But the next steps remain unclear. Council could still approve the contract. And if they don’t, what’s the interim plan? Some schools begin at the end of August and the bulk of schools start in about 6 weeks.
WHERE IS THE CONTRACT
FYI, the full contract was not submitted to Council for review, only an introduction representing 13 pages of approximately hundreds for each contract. Also, no details have been released to compare the evaluations and scales used to measure each proposal. We have requested a copy of the contract and full disclosure of details. At the earliest, we may not see the full contract until late today, tomorrow or even later. I’m not sure if the paper trail for the proposal evaluations will be released at all. Oh and this isn’t free. Apparently transparency costs 25 cents a page.
We will share these details when/if they are released, so we can all evaluate the terms of the contracts and the selection process.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
We need a strong showing of support at the Roundtable on 7/6. We need parents and DC residents to continue to call Council, email Council, tweet to Council members, share information on Facebook, and if possible join meetings. Following the round table and the release of additional details, we will followup with revised next steps.
MEETING TOMORROW (Wednesday, June 29) 10am with SILVERMAN
I have a meeting scheduled for tomorrow morning at 10am with Sam in Councilwoman Silverman’s office. Please let me know if you can join.: email@example.com
TESTIFYING NEXT WED
Please email me at hillfoodie at yahoo dot com if you plan to testify or submit testimony for the record. It would be great to have kids testify! Teachers too! Unfortunately, I will be out of town, but I’ll do everything I can to prepare in advance.
We also know that the procurement process was very questionable. DCPS submitted a school food contract solicitation timetable to Council last September, documenting a timeline spanning gathering initial feedback from stakeholders in September 2015 through approving the contract and referring it to Council 4/18/2016 and starting the contract 6/27/16. According to that timeline, the receipt of best and final offers was scheduled for 3/10/16. That actually occurred 3/30/16, only about 2.5 weeks behind schedule. So at the latest, the contract should have been sent to Council in early May.
What is the cause of the three month delay? It appears the vendors were selected in early April. In addition, vendor selection notices went out in mid to late May, but procurement sent out subsequent messages rescinding those notifications, never providing explanations and never holding briefings with vendors that were not selected.
In addition to the timeline, we also have questions about the who was represented in the selection process, the evaluation criteria, the evaluation scale, prices proposed by each vendor, labor commitments, vendor history and more.
Please stick with us! This has been a long haul. We aren’t done yet.