All solicitation for contract prototypes is for use by a school food authority (SFA) initiating a new contract with an FSMC to provide meal services for the Child Nutrition Programs. The document, provided by the Illinois State Board of Education Nutrition Department, will assist the SFA in obtaining competitive bids/proposals and awarding the contract to the lowest, responsible, and responsive contractor.
There are two procurement methods available: The Invitation for Bid and Contract (IFB) and the Request for Proposal (RFP). When an SFA is contracting for their food service there are a lot of factors to consider when determining what is the best procurement method for your SFA. The SFA needs to determine their needs, goals, and priorities prior to determine which procurement method best suits the situation. Please review the
RFP Vs. IFB Comparison Chart for more information.
If an SFA wants to utilize the RFP method,
Illinois Public Act 102-1101 states that an RFP procurement method can only be used IF a good faith effort is made on behalf of the school district to give preference to ALL five of the items listed in the bill. It is up to the SFA to define these five items and include scorable parameters that are not simply yes or no as the RFP process is more than just a simple ranking tool to determine a preferred provider.
Whether you choose to utilize the IFB or the RFP procurement method, your final contract will only be as good as your solicitation was written, the requirements of your final contract, and how well the contract is managed by the SFA.
SFAs have a fundamental responsibility to be effective stewards of the taxpayers' money. The nonprofit school food service account must be used for expenses that are necessary and reasonable for child nutrition program operations and improvements. This includes, but is not limited to, food, equipment, supplies, and program personnel. School Nutrition Programs (SNP) funds must not be used for expenditures that are not directly related to the SNP operation and improvement.
All expenditures must be reasonable, allowable, allocable, adequately documented, and justifiable. ISBE procurement staff are always available as a resource, and the SFA should work closely with their legal staff to ensure all requirements of the procurement process, award, and management of the contract are in compliance and fiscally responsible. Continuous management of your contract is an extremely important component and requirement of contracting for food service.
FSMC Contract vs FSMC- Vended Meals Contract- Which prototype to use?
There are two Food Service Management Company (FSMC) prototypes available below. The Prototype for FSMC Contract should be used if the School Food Authority is seeking a commercial enterprise or a nonprofit organization to manage any aspect of the school food service with meals being prepared on site in the school(s) facilities. The Prototype for FSMC-Vended Meals contract should be used if the School Food Authority is seeking a commercial enterprise or a nonprofit organization to manage any aspect of the school food service but does not have school(s) kitchen facilities that allow for meals to be prepared on site and therefore requires the FSMC to be able to manage the school food service but pre-pare the meals off-site at an FSMC owned/leased facility and deliver the meals in either bulk or individually pre-packaged units.
Invitation for Bid and Contract (IFB)
Request for Proposal (RFP)
After the FSMC Contract Award
When the SFA contracts with a Food Service Management Company (FSMC), the SFA must conduct performance management of the FSMC contract through periodic on-site monitoring of the contracted requirements, as per 7 CFR 210.8(a)(1), 7 CFR 210.16(a)(3), and 7 CFR 250.54(c).
SFA performance monitoring of the FSMC should encompass determining whether the food service operation is in conformance with the SFA-FSMC agreement to operate the Program in accordance with Program regulations. Contract language should also confirm the SFA's responsibility to implement internal controls as required under 7 CFR 210.8(a) and to ensure resolution of Program review and audit findings. Monitoring also includes:
- Ensuring all contract provisions are being fulfilled, such as local health and sanitation requirements.
- Keeping records for menus, standardized recipes, production records, reimbursable meals served for all Programs operated, non-program revenues and expenses, and paid lunch equity calculations, if included.
- Invoicing has all required supporting documentation submitted to the SFA.
- Ensuring monthly invoice contains applicable USDA Food Credits.
- Monthly monitoring of USDA Foods allocated and received to ensure USDA foods are being maximized in daily menus and on track for a utilized goal and credit to the district of 100% by the end of the contract year.
- Monitoring functions may vary depending on the SFA-FSMC contract requirements.