April 20, 2018 – In December, a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Nevada County’s animal shelter contract was opened to the public by the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office – Animal Control. For the last ten years, Sammie’s Friends, a local non-profit, has held the Animal Shelter contract and since then has made significant strides in reducing the kill rate for Nevada County’s Animal Shelter.
As a government agency, Nevada County utilizes a competitive process to select contracted services providers for a variety of community services. As a best practice, the County usually reassesses contracts at least every five years to allow qualified organizations to compete to deliver county services and to ensure the County, and Nevada County’s tax payers, are getting the best price as well as the best possible service.
The animal shelter operation is the responsibility of the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office – Animal Control. As such, the Sheriff’s Office worked with our Purchasing Agent to issue a RFP and to evaluate the proposal responses. During any County RFP process, Nevada County’s Purchasing Agent assists as the facilitator to administer a fair and competitive process.
Purchasing helps departments craft RFP’s to solicit proposals from the public, and facilitates the process. The RFP process for animal shelter services included written proposals and hour long interviews with the two applicants, Sammie’s Friends and Placer County. Both the written proposals and the interviews are rated by a panel selected by the Sheriff’s Office, as is customary in the RFP process.
Members of the panel for the animal shelter RFP represented both internal County staff and regional subject matter experts. All members of the panel are held to a confidentiality agreement where they are not able to share their opinions of the written proposals or the interviews. Panelists scored both the written and interview proposals independently, and their ratings were sent directly to the Purchasing Agent. Purchasing then takes each panelists ratings and calculates the final scoring result.
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Earlier this week, both Sammie’s Friends and Placer County we’re notified of the results of panel ratings. Sammie’s Friends applied to provide intake, animal husbandry, and animal adoption for the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office – Animal Control, whereas Placer County applied to provide animal husbandry, and animal adoption services. As a result of the interview process, Placer County ranked higher overall by the panel for providing animal husbandry and animal adoption services, and was sent a Notice of Intent to Award for those two components of the contract. Sammie’s Friends was provided a Notice of Regret, although an additional opportunity was extended to apply for individual service components, such as intake, that Sammie’s Friends declined.
Since the Notice of Intent was sent out to Sammie’s Friends, both the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office and the Board of Supervisors Office have received community feedback in support of Sammie’s Friends. Moving forward, the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office will be responsible for negotiating and recommending a contract agreement to the Board of Supervisors during a Board meeting. Although this is not scheduled for a Board of Supervisors meeting yet, residents are encouraged to sign-up for agenda alerts to receive the Board of Supervisors agendas the Thursday before the Board’s bi-weekly Tuesday meetings.