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How to do Business with Oregon Forward

The Oregon Department of Administrative Services (DAS) manages the products of the disabled program. DAS qualifies each Oregon Forward Contractor (OFC) in Oregon, and manages the list of those goods and services determined suitable for procurement by state and local governments, school districts and other taxpayer-supported agencies. It is DAS's duty to work cooperatively with the OFCs and public agencies to develop and maintain contracting opportunities for Oregonians with disabilities.

Click on a Topic to View Instructions and Information:

Once you have established the need to procure a product or service go to the procurement list, contact the OFC to see if they can meet your specifications and delivery timelines. If they are able to meet your specifications and timelines you can begin negotiating a contracts.

​When looking to procure a product, ask the OFC representative to provide you with samples so you can make sure the products are right for you. Talk with the OFC representative if you need some minor adjustment or changes to suit your particular use of the product.

When looking to procure a service you may find more than one OFC available. Contact as many of those OFCs as you wish.  Inquire which OFC is interested in servicing your needs. Invite those interested OFCs to meet with you and tour your facility. Provide them with your specificaiton draft. You may narrow down your candidate through references, training they provide their employees, or by an interview process with the OFC representatives.

If no source is located on the procurement list for your specific needs, you may move forward with your agency's procurement process.

If you are purchasing a product, and you are an ORCPP member, you may simply make your purchase from the existing DAS price agreement. If you are purchasing a product or service from a OFC and DAS does not have an established contract for that product or service, you may work directly with the OFC to negotiate your own contract. DAS must determine the price of that contract before the contract is initiated. 

If the initial price exceeds your budget estimate, let the OFC know and give them a chance to work through the numbers with you a second time. There could be a misunderstanding about your requirements or a mistake somewhere in the figures. It could be that your specifications exceed your budget. When the price submitted by the OFC meets the agency’s budget, the OFC and the agency may submit that price to DAS on an approved form for final determination. To simplify the process, DAS has developed a price approval form​ for this purpose.

It is sometimes not possible to develop a contract with a OFC contractor. Usually, it will be price or specification that will get in the way. As the public purchasing agent, you should know what the limits of the program budget or specification tolerances. The OFC can drop the project or perhaps try again later. In the past, agencies have been able to split up the work into smaller pieces in order to have partial OFC participation.

It is necessary to make a good faith effort to establish a OFC contract.  OFCs are looking for long-term business partnerships, not advantages. ​

One of the biggest advantages of doing business with an OFC is that it is a relationship, not just a one-time competitive bidding arrangement. OFC businesses are there to provide permanent jobs for disabled Oregonians, not to make money by cutting corners. You should expect quality services and products. 

As a purchasing agent, you have the capability to make your agency’s OFC contract successful, it just takes communication and cooperation. Talk to your OFC counterpart. Make sure your program people are introduced to the OFC representative and that everyone involved in the contract administration process knows what’s expected of them. For example, if you have a OFC doing custodial services, plan a joint walk-through on a weekly basis from the beginning of the contract. Spend time talking about performance expectations at the beginning of your relationship and you will each get to know and understand the other. 

As your contract relationship settles into a routine, you can cut down on the frequency with which you meet with the OFC contractor. Continue to plan regular meetings with the OFC representative to talk about their performance and to make adjustments in the contract, as needed. Together, write down any changes you and the OFC agree to make. Amend your contract to reflect the mutually agreed upon changes. This bit of routine "housekeeping" will keep your mutual understanding of what’s to be done fresh and current. 

If a problem does surface,  you must tell the OFC management immediately. Don’t wait, hoping things will get better. They can’t fix the problem if they don’t know about it. If you have taken the time to get to know each other at the start of the contract,  issues will be easier to solve. 

Always document any needed changes or complaints, and share them with the OFC. Remember the old adage is true; take care of the little things before they get to be big things! 

If, after making these efforts, you cannot resolve your problems, remember that you have authority to terminate the contract just as you would with any commercial business. If there seems to be no other way, talk candidly with the OFC about termination. It may be in the best interests of everyone involved.​

Here are a few points to consider when preparing for the renewal process: 

  • Plan your annual renewal process well in advance of the ending date of the contract period. For a large custodial contract, for example, three or four months is not too early to start working with the OFC on the renewal process. 
  • Revise and update your specifications to show any changes made during the contract period. At renewal, the OFC will review its pricing structure, which is to your advantage. Often, they are able to work with the agency to cut prices or costs as they gain experience with you and understand the fine points of the work to be performed. 
  • A quality service or product can potentially be provided to your agency for many years to come, resulting in long-term benefits for disabled Oregonians and taxpayers alike. 
  • Remember that DAS must approve any price changes in the renewal process.

​​For assistance, contact:

Darvin Pierce
OFC Statewide Coordinator


Learn about when to use an OFC and how to process an Oregon Forward procurement in the Oregon Procurement Manual >