Oregon procurement manual

What is the QRF Program?

The Qualified Rehabilitation Facility (QRF) Program is an Oregon state government procurement program managed by the Department of Administrative Services (DAS). The program is intended to encourage and assist individuals with disabilities achieve maximum personal independence through productive and gainful employment. The program assures an expanded and constant market for QRF products and services, thereby strengthening a QRF employee’s vocational goals and capacity for self-support.

What is a QRF?

A QRF is a non-profit rehabilitation corporation that employs individuals with qualifying disabilities to provide products and services. The DAS QRF Program is responsible for qualifying a rehabilitation program as a QRF. A QRF must employ individuals with qualifying disabilities for at least 75% of the hours of direct labor across the entire company. A QRF's mission must include providing vocational services that enable employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Once qualified by DAS, and found suitable for providing products and services through the program, the QRF is placed on the QRF Program Procurement List. The list details the products and services offered by a QRF organization, which DAS has determined to be suitable for purchase by public agencies.

When to use QRFs

ORS 279.850 mandates state agencies to procure products and services that are included on the QRF Program Procurement List available on the DAS website. Agencies that seek to procure products or services found on this list must procure through the QRF Program, provided the product or service meets the agency’s quantity, quality, and delivery specifications.

The QRF Program allows an agency to acquire directly from the QRF and does not require a competitive procurement. If more than one QRF provides the needed product or service, the agency may engage multiple QRFs, and may, based on preference, select the one that best demonstrates that it:
  • Complies with applicable labor standards, ordinances and resolutions; and
  • Provides wages, benefits, and services that exceed those provided by private employers to employees who perform similar job functions in the same industry or county.

How to process QRF procurements

Agencies must make their Buy Decision in the priority order specified in administrative rule (OAR 125-247-0200). The QRF Program is the second priority source and an agency may not elect to procure through a lower priority source, unless it is determined that the procurement need cannot be met due to factors such as inability to meet quantity, quality or delivery. Agencies may not develop overly restrictive specifications in an effort to avoid use of QRF products and services.

Procurement of products

​Process ​Description
​Check availability
​Visit the DAS QRF website and search the QRF Program Procurement List to locate the product.
​Verify specification: quantity, quality, delivery ​1. Is the product available through a listed QRF?
  1. If yes, send the specification to the QRF to verify the product meets agency specifications. Note: Review established QRF price agreements in ORPIN. If a QRF price agreement isn't established, contact the QRF for pricing.
  2. If no, the agency should assess Buy Decision priority 3 - Inmate labor.
Evaluate responses ​1. Is the QRF responsive to the procurement need?
  1. If yes, evaluate the non-profit agency for compliance with local ordinances and wage, benefit, and services criteria, and select the QRF accordingly.
  2. If no, the agency should assess Buy Decision priority 3 - Inmate labor.
Conduct legal review of contracts over $150,000
If contract value exceeds $150,000, the agency must submit the final negotiated contract to the Attorney General for required legal sufficiency review.

Procurement of services

​Process ​Description
Check availability
​Visit the DAS QRF website and search the QRF Program Procurement List to locate availability of the service in the applicable county.
​Verify specification: quantity, quality, delivery
​1. Is the service available through a listed QRF?
  1. If yes, is there an existing statewide price agreement that can be purchased from directly? Otherwise, send the Statement of Work (SOW) to one or more QRFs to verify that the provided service meets the agency's specifications and obtain quotes for the service.
  2. If no, the agency should assess Buy Decision priority 3 - Inmate labor.
​Prepare response (QRF) ​1. In certain cases, the agency may invite one or more QRFs to a site visit to review the SOW and allow them to assess the area where the service is to be provided.

2. In its response to the SOW, the QRF will provide a cost workbook outlining the costs associated with providing the needed service.
Evaluate responses
​1. The QRF Program reviews the responses to:
  1. Verify the QRF is qualified for the service and that they are in good standing.
  2. Review and approve the SOW or specifications, the costing workbook, and any additional information such as square feet of the area to be serviced, delivery requirements, and any other useful information to determine the cost of providing the service.
2. Are responses consistent with requirements of the QRF Program?
  1. If yes, the agency proceeds to evaluate and select a preferred provider if more than one. Note: if the initial price of the QRF response exceeds its budget estimate, an agency is expected to make a good faith effort to give the QRF a chance to negotiate with the agency on the price of the service.
    An agency should coordinate with the QRF Program to assist in the evaluation of QRF capabilities relative to agency requirements if questions arise.
  2. If no, agency to assess Buy Decision priority 3 - Inmate labor.
​Conduct legal review of contracts over $150,000 ​If the contract value exceeds $150,000, the agency must submit the final negotiated contract to the Attorney General for required legal sufficiency review.

Additional considerations

Working with QRFs

If an agency requires a product or service not currently included on the QRF Program Procurement List, it may conduct due diligence with the QRF to determine its ability to satisfy this requirement. If so, the QRF Program must verify that the QRF is qualified to provide the requested product or service and that it is in good standing. Additionally, the QRF is required to file information to demonstrate their suitability for providing a particular product or service.

The Program will also review and approve the cost workbook submitted. While this may add time to an agency’s procurement, future procurements for this particular product or service will be expedited as a result of the investment in expanding the QRF products and services market. The legislature intends for close cooperation between the QRF Program, agencies, QRFs, and people with disabilities to efficiently realize the objectives of the Program.

Negotiating with QRFs

If the initial price of the QRF response exceeds an agency’s budget estimate, it should make a good faith effort to give the QRF a chance to negotiate on the price of the product or service. The QRF could have a misunderstanding about an agency's requirements or might have made a mistake somewhere in their price calculation. It could also be that the agency specifications exceed the allotted procurement project budget. When the agency and QRF have reached a negotiated agreement on price, the QRF and the agency must submit that price to DAS on an approved form for final determination.

Note: DAS may be invited by either the agency or the QRF to facilitate any negotiations.

Contract and performance management

One of the biggest advantages of doing business with a QRF is that it is a relationship, not just a one-time competitive bidding arrangement. QRF businesses are established to provide stable, ongoing employment for Oregonians with disabilities. Agencies should expect the same quality products and services from a QRF as they expect from any other contractor. Agency procurement professionals and contract administrators serve in a unique position to advance the important outcomes of the QRF Program.

When a contract is initiated in an agency, the contract administrator should meet with the QRF to discuss the contract and assure that both parties understand what is expected of them and to clearly set performance expectations for the QRF. For example, if a QRF is doing custodial services, it might benefit everyone involved to plan a joint walk-through on a weekly basis at the beginning of the contract.

The contract with the QRF should be treated like any other state contract.
  • If a change is required, both the agency contract administrator and the QRF representative should work together to formally document an amendment.
  • If an issue arises, the agency contract administrator should communicate the issue to the QRF representative immediately. If a problem cannot be resolved after properly escalating the concerns to the QRF representative, the agency should involve the QRF Program to help mediate the problem.
  • If the problem can still not be resolved, the agency has authority to terminate the contract just as it would with any other state contract.
Resources:DAS QRF website