By the nature of the County’s services and clients, most of the human services we contract for are at-risk clients in sometimes at-risk activities. The consequences for failure on the programmatic side can result in abuse, injury and death. The consequences of failure on the financial side can leave a highly vulnerable client population without critical care they need and loss of funding from sponsors. Human Services contracts are by definition in many cases “high risk” even when well managed.

The Contract Risk Manual at this site is designed to guide a Department through Risk Identification and Risk Management. The manual does not prescribe specific remedies; due to sometimes significantly different situations the solutions are as diverse as the issues.

In the first part of the manual we are determining Department intent as well as potential Vendor’s organization, experience, and ability. The results of this first part are then evaluated against a set of issues that have shown to be problems in the past; many of these are specific to certain types of human services and it’s not likely that all conditions would ever be present in a given contract

The result is a determination by the Department of a high risk contract and an action plan to manage the specific risks. The Department is encouraged to negotiate with the winning bidder to jointly manage the risk.

We believe by providing the transparency of Multnomah County’s Contract Risk Management we can help develop existing and future vendors ability to recognize and manage risk as well.