WSR 10-24-107


[ Filed December 1, 2010, 9:23 a.m. ]

November 29, 2010

The Honorable Brian Sonntag

State Auditor

PO Box 40021

Olympia, WA 98504-0021

Dear Auditor Sonntag:

I am firmly committed to ensuring that Washington citizens receive the best value for their tax dollars. Proper stewardship of funds includes holding not only ourselves accountable, but also those individuals and businesses that we contract with to provide a product or service.

Our state is already seen as a model for our contracting practices. For example, the federal website for performance-based acquisition refers readers to contract examples and templates on the Washington State Information Services Board website. Even so, I am taking steps to strengthen our practices to make sure we are receiving the best value for our contracting dollars.

I would like your assistance in the following specific areas related to performance contracting:

1. Evaluation. Conducting an evaluation of current performance contract practices.
2. Training. Partnering with OFM and GMAP staff to provide training for state agency employees regarding performance contracting, including contract monitoring and management.

Evaluation. Given the capacity of your team, I ask you to consider a management review of current performance contracting practices that complements our current efforts. I am looking specifically to answer the following questions by June 1, 2011:

Are there provisions in current performance-based contracts that provide incentives for excellent performance and/or consequences for inadequate performance? If not, why not?
How are agencies actively managing their contracts? For example, if a vendor is not performing, what kind of corrective actions are being taken? Are contractors/vendors being held accountable? Given limited resources, what options are available to improve management if needed?
What are the best practices around performance-based contracting? How could we apply these best practices to Washington State?

Training. I appreciated your assistance last year in providing training related to the Recovery Act funds. Audit staff co-taught two classes and the information was very well-received. I am looking for a similar partnership for performance contracts. I am interested in your ideas for how best to reach the widest audience with very limited resources.

Thank you for your consideration of this request, and I look forward to hearing from you.


Christine O. Gregoire


Washington State Code Reviser's Office