###What are some of the other requirements for Professional Services contracts?

A Professional Services contract is not governed by the lowest, responsible bidder requirements of Section 8-200 of the Home Rule Charter. These contracts are subject to the requirements found in Chapter 17-1400 of the Philadelphia Code and may be awarded based upon a number of criteria, including price. Other requirements of Chapter 17-1400 include (but are not limited to):

  • The advertisement of most Professional Services contracting opportunities (unless they fall into one of the exception categories enumerated in Section 17-1406 of the Philadelphia Code).
  • The public posting of notices of intent to contract, which include the name of the selected respondent, the names of the other applicants, and the selection reasons.
  • The required disclosure of campaign contributions by individuals and businesses that are applying for or have been awarded contracts with the City of Philadelphia.
  • Eligibility restrictions to receive City contracts to those that do not make campaign contributions above certain monetary thresholds.
  • The regular reporting of contract activity.

Examples of Professional Services include but are not limited to: social services, information technology consulting, legal services, general consulting services and marketing or communications.

While Professional Services contracts are called “non-competitively bid” contracts in the Philadelphia Code, most of these contracts must undergo an open and competitive process before they can be awarded, as required by law.

###My company had a contract last year with the City for snow removal and I didn’t see it on this list. Why not?

Snow removal is considered a non-professional service. Data on contracts for supplies and equipment, non-professional services, and construction is available by visiting the Open Contract Data site for commodities contracts.

###Why does the City give so much money to Community Behavioral Health?

Community Behavioral Health (CBH) is a nonprofit, 501c (3) corporation created by the City of Philadelphia as a behavioral health Medicaid managed care organization. CBH contracts with agencies or independent practitioners to provide mental health and substance abuse services to Medicaid-covered adults, children, and adolescents. CBH’s focus is to ensure that Philadelphia residents with mental health and substance abuse needs receive the most appropriate and effective treatment in the least restrictive and most cost-efficient setting. For this reason, the contract with Community Behavioral Health is one of the City’s largest contracts annually.

###What is a Unitary contract and why does the City use them?

A Unitary Contract is one contract arrangement with multiple entities. The purpose is to provide similar services for similar pricing with multiple entities under one contract, as opposed to entering into separate and distinct contracts with each entity. Unitary Contracts allow the contracting department to easily move funds from one entity to another on the Unitary when the need arises. These contracts are frequently utilized to provide social services, as there is often a need to quickly shift clients and funds from one provider to another throughout a fiscal year without having to amend the contract each time, as long as, the total compensation to all providers does not exceed the overall contract amount for the Unitary. When the term Unitary is presented as a vendor name, this represents multiple vendors under the contract. We are unable to display the names of all vendors under each Unitary contract on this website – however, you can find the names of the vendors on all Unitary contracts by visiting the Reports section of the eContract Philly website and selecting the most recent quarterly report.

###I’m interested in viewing the contract documents for one of the contracts found on this site. How can I obtain that information?

If you would like to request a copy of any of the contracts found on this site or any other contract, please submit a Right to Know request to obtain that information. You may contact the Right to Know Officer in the contracting department to obtain the requested information. More information on how to submit a Right to Know request can be found here.

###Where can I find more information on the contracting opportunities that resulted in the contracts included on this site?

On the eContract Philly website, you can search and apply for Professional Services contract opportunities, including the ability to view the Request for Proposals for open contract opportunities. You can also find information on who the City intends to enter into contracts, including the reasons for selecting particular Applicants, view the disclosure forms submitted by Applicants, view renewal certifications and some information about contract amendments, and view other public reports on contract activity. If you are unable to find what you are looking for on the site, please contact the eContract Philly helpline at econtractphilly@phila.gov or 215-686-4914.

###What do all the acronyms and abbreviations mean?

At times, we must use acronyms or abbreviations when inputting contract data into the City’s main contracting databases. You may also find that some of the department names may not reflect the current department names (ex: Division of Technology is now the Office of Innovation and Technology).

The following is a list of some of the acronyms and abbreviations found on the site and their meanings:

  • AMR: Automatic Meter Reading.
  • Behavioral Health-MR Services: Behavioral Health-Mental Retardation Services.
  • IDS Base Unitary: Intellectual Disability Services Base Unitary.
  • MH Base Unitary: Mental Health Base Unitary.
  • OESS (OSHA): Office of Emergency Shelter and Services (Office of Services to Homeless Adults). As a service category, this represents services provided to the homeless.
  • Office of BH-MR Services: Office of Behavioral Health-Mental Retardation Services (currently known as the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual DisAbility Services).
  • Office of Housing & Community Dev: Office of Housing and Community Development.
  • Out of School Time Svs: Out of School Time Services.
  • Pharmacy Benefit Mgmt: Pharmacy Benefit Management.
  • PNH Operations: Philadelphia Nursing Home.
  • PROGRAM MNGMNT (PMO) SVC: Program Management Services.
  • RDA CDBG FLOAT LOAN: Redevelopment Authority Community Development Block Grant Float Loan.
  • Streets FHWA: Streets Federal Highway Administration. As a service category, this represents projects funded via the Federal Highway Administration.

###How can I provide feedback on this website?

We welcome your comments and feedback on how we can make this website most useful to the public. Please contact the Office of the Chief Integrity Officer with your comments at integrity@phila.gov.