We commend the Division on Developmental Disabilities and Director Fenton for clarifying a new timeline for the re-bidding (notice of funding opportunity- known as NOFO) of independent service coordination (ISC) agency contracts until FY2020.  The Arc has been concerned that the NOFO potentially coming out this fall would be a distraction and cause significant confusion for individuals and families at a point when there is a lot of other transformation occurring in the IDD system.

As background, the NOFO for ISC agencies has been expected this fall with implementation of the new contracts July 2018.  With the significant efforts to put in place the new person centered planning process, the Arc is very supportive of the Division’s decision to allow the whole system focus on that significant change, before making additional shifts in ISCs.  We support the continued effort to strengthen and systematize the person centered process across ISC and provider organizations as well as clear policies, procedures and best practices.  We also support new and additional training and support for individuals and families to understand the systems’ changes.

See below Director Fenton’s notice:

“In September 2016, the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) met with representatives from the Independent Service Coordination (ISC) agencies and informed them of DDD’s intent to seek competitive proposals for future ISC contracts.  Shortly thereafter, DDD advised the group of its decision to postpone these plans because the timeline for completing the necessary steps of the NOFO process was too tight.  It has always been of paramount importance to the Department of Human Services that we accomplish this effort in the right way for our stakeholders and the individuals we serve.

It was with that intent that we engaged the services of the Government Performance Lab of the Harvard Kennedy School.  Megan Toohey and Mollie Foust from the Lab provided extensive time and energy to the process including individual meetings with each of the ISC agencies and spending many hours  meeting with DDD staff to develop a plan for moving forward.  We are very appreciative of their efforts on our behalf.

As we approached FY18, we recognized this would be a year of change for the developmental disabilities community services delivery system with the implementation of the Person Centered Planning (PCP) process.  The PCP process affects all 17 ISC agencies, all 310 Waiver providers and over 22,500 persons in Waiver services, their guardians and families.  Since the statewide implementation of this process will take a full fiscal year, DDD and all stakeholders need to ensure this process continues to progress.  DDD has also taken on the task of significantly improving the information technology system that greatly affects the ISC agencies and our staff.  The result will be a paperless system for receiving, approving and processing requests from ISC agencies.

We have concluded that it makes sense to delay our plans for issuing the ISC NOFO until we have the benefit of fully implementing the system changes described above.  As a result, we will not be issuing the NOFO for FY19, and have requested approval from the Office of Management and Budget’s Grant Accountability and Transparency Unit for an exception to the NOFO process.  We expect to receive this approval, and will inform you when it is received.

We remain committed to pursuing a NOFO for the ISC contracts, and believe pushing this back to FY20 will afford us the opportunity to build on the work begun by the Government Performance Lab.  Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns about this decision.”

Greg Fenton
Division of Developmental Disabilities
600 East Ash Street, Building 400
Springfield, IL  62703
(217) 782-3075
(217) 782-6803

Meg Cooch Signature
Meg Cooch
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)