January 21, 2012: Source: East Hampton-Portland Patch | Last year, NPQ reported that Deb Heinrich, a Connecticut state representative, had stepped down from her office to take the lead on the newly created Community Nonprofit Human Services Cabinet, an entity that was established to “advocate” for nonprofits. The position was to function at the same level as the head of a state agency. Now, we may be seeing some of the first public fruits of her labor with the announcement of an initiative to streamline the contracting procedures for nonprofits.

Connecticut Gov. Daniel P. Malloy has established a Point of Service Contracting Efficiency Office within the Office of Policy and Management. The new office will be responsible for modernizing the contracting processes for health and human service agencies. Said Malloy, “Connecticut’s nonprofits serve over three million people each year and they play a substantial role in maintaining our safety net. But for too long how we work with the nonprofit community has caused unnecessary delays and wasted time on their end and on ours. We are working to change that and focus on getting services to the people who need them.”

NPQ has, of course, been tracking reports of contracting problems experienced by nonprofits at the state agency level (see here, here, here and here).

If this model works, maybe it can act as a model elsewhere. Heinrich said, “This effort makes our nonprofit providers true partners in serving the most vulnerable residents in the state…We are creating a more efficient and user-friendly system that will make the contracting component easier and directly benefit the clients we serve—it is a true win-win-win.” –Ruth McCambridge