ORDER REGARDING NAVIGANT CONSULTING CONTRACT
On October 20, 2006, this Court ordered that "Defendants shall contract with Navigant Consultants to conduct annual population reviews and updates of their projections for mental health program populations from 2007 through 2009." Order at ¶ 2 (Docket No. 1998). The Order further provided that thereafter, "[D]efendants may obtain such population projections services through the normal contract bidding process." Id.
On December 7, 2006, Defendants approved a contract with Navigant Consulting for a maximum cost of $378,339.00, which expires on December 31, 2009. The contract with Navigant Consulting further provides that the term of the agreement may be amended, if determined to be in the best interest of the State, and upon amendment Navigant would continue to provide services for the extended period at the same rates as agreed to in the original contract.
On June 18, 2009, this Court ordered that "[w]ithin ten days from the date of the [June 16, 2009] hearing, [D]efendants shall show cause in writing, if any, why they should not be ordered to renew their contract with Navigant Consulting for another three years." Order at ¶ 7 (Docket No. 3613). On June 30, 2009, Defendants submitted their response to the Court's June 18, 2009 Order. Defendants' Response to Court's June 18, 2009 Order to Show Cause RE: Navigant Contract (Docket No. 3623) ("Defendants' Response"). On July 2, 2009, Plaintiffs submitted their objection to Defendants' Response.
As Defendants' Response notes, John Misener of McManis Consulting has acted as the lead author and forecaster of the semi-annual reports produced by Navigant Consulting "has the competence and experience in developing and updating projected bed needs for their mental health population." Defendants' Response at 2. Further, "this Court, the Special Master, and the Plaintiffs are comfortable and confident that Mr. Misener's projections are reliable." Id. The only justification offered by Defendants not to renew the Navigant Consulting contract relates to Defendants' obligations under State law to follow "the normal contract bidding process." Id.
The Navigant Consulting forecast has become an invaluable tool in this case for projecting mental health care needs and is the basis for Defendants' current short-term, intermediate, and long-range bed planning. Defendants have raised no objection to the continued use of Navigant Consulting or the service of John Misener based on accuracy, reliability, or cost. If the Navigant Contract is permitted to lapse as a result of Defendants' obligation to follow the normal State law contracting process, the parties ability to anticipate and plan for future mental health bed needs will be hindered, particularly if the normal State contracting process results in a lapse in mental health bed need projections after December 31, 2009. Accordingly, it is imperative that the contract with Navigant Consulting and/or John Misener of McManis Consulting be promptly renewed for an additional three year term prior to the expiration of the current contract on December 31, 2009.
Accordingly, and good cause appearing, and in light of all of the above, and the entire record herein, it is HEREBY ORDERED AS FOLLOWS:
1. Defendants shall renew the Mental Health Bed Projection Services contract ("contract") with Navigant Consulting and/or execute a contract with John Misener of McManis Consulting prior to the expiration of the existing contract on December 31, 2009. Said contract shall be renewed or executed for a period of three additional years.
2. Defendants shall report to the Court within thirty (30) days on any remaining actions that must be taken to renew or execute the contract and any barriers to completing all necessary actions remaining to renew or execute the contract by December 31, 2009.
3. In the event that Defendants determine, at any time, that an applicable state law or regulation must be waived in order to renew or execute the contract by December 31, 2009, Defendants shall immediately file a motion with this Court identifying any applicable law or regulation that must be waived, and requesting the Court enter an order waiving such provision.
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