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Food Contracts Save $10.4 Million

With more than 150 thousand inmates to provide for, the TDCJ Food Program encompasses the single largest prison food contract in the United States. Over the next six years, the total value of this contract will likely exceed $600 million. With this in mind, the Strategic Sourcing division dedicated sufficient resources to ensure the new contract would be cost effective, efficient, and would address previously identified vendor performance issues.

Staff worked closely with TDCJ over a period of several months to develop a comprehensive set of requirements, and solicited quite a bit of feedback from the vendor community. Further, staff reached out to programs in other states for input on best practices. The end result of this collaborative process was a series of firsts in the Program’s long history:

  • Qualitative Scoring: We incorporated factors other than price (e.g., past vendor performance) to the selection process. This was accomplished using a combination of analytics and an evaluation committee of subject matter experts.
  • Liquidated Damages: We added liquidated damages to the contract terms & conditions to discourage late deliveries.
  • Prequalified Vendor List: We established a prequalified vendors list to drastically reduce the amount of time and effort required to both submit and evaluate RFPs.

The new contract is also very cost effective. Through detailed analysis of previous contract pricing, a pattern was identified. Contract pricing was extremely competitive during the initial year of the contract, but was less competitive in subsequent years. To address this, pricing on the new contract will be adjusted on an annual basis via competitive bidding from vendors on the pre-qualified list.

By implementing these measures, the state expects to build on the $10.4 million in savings for Texas taxpayers already achieved through the TDCJ Food Program.

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Contract pricing (and savings) can be achieved on these contracts when orders are placed through TxSmartBuy.com.

Food Products - CPA Term Contract 390-G2

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