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LIHEAP Dear Colleague Notice on the Request for Proposals

Published: July 20, 2012
Audience:
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Category:
Guidance, Policies, Procedures, Dear Colleague Notices

Subject: Request for LIHEAP Proposals

July 20, 2012

Dear Colleagues:

We want to inform you of four LIHEAP contract solicitations that have been posted to the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website at www.fedbizopps.gov.  On the home page, go to the “Search” feature and put in the keyword “LIHEAP” to view all of these actions.

Presidential Executive Order 13520, Reducing Improper Payments and Eliminating Waste in Federal Programs, issued in November 2009, encourages Federal agencies to take deliberate and immediate action to eliminate fraud and improper payments.  Additionally, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius implemented a department-wide program integrity mandate and later established the Office of Program Integrity Coordination. 

Also, as you know, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) made recommendations for strengthening LIHEAP fraud prevention in a June 2010 report.  Subsequently, in FY 2012, Congress appropriated $3 million in training and technical assistance (T&TA) funds for LIHEAP program integrity efforts.  HHS has been working to develop several T&TA procurement actions to assist us in a number of important program areas.

The Office of Community Services (OCS), Division of Energy Assistance (DEA) is requesting proposals under four procurements in the following areas:

·         Monitoring—to expand capacity and resources of OCS for conducting compliance reviews (both on site and desk reviews) of LIHEAP grantees (states, tribes and territories).  This contract is intended to help OCS fulfill its commitment through its HHS Program Integrity Risk Register and demonstrate (in light of the 2010 GAO report on LIHEAP fraud prevention) the extra resources OCS is dedicating for preventing, detecting and resolving fraud in the program.
·         Training—to provide direct guidance and assistance to LIHEAP grantees via several training initiatives.
·         Accountability—to address program integrity needs and recommendations for LIHEAP as identified by GAO and the LIHEAP Program Integrity Work Group, specifically around options for addressing the third-party verification to allow LIHEAP grantees to access information for verifying  a household’s eligibility.
·         Performance Data—to support the implementation of outcome performance measures for LIHEAP and provide opportunities for performance-driven decision making.
Please note that the Training and Accountability procurements are currently listed as “pre-solicitations”; the official solicitation for each will be published soon on the FBO website.  (The pre-solicitation notices indicate posting of the “official” announcement by July 17, but there has been a short delay). 

Each of the announcements lists the name and contact information for the contract specialists assigned to each LIHEAP procurement.  All questions should be directed to the contract specialists, and not to OCS.  DEA staff cannot respond to questions about the contract actions during this phase of the process.
  
We encourage you to circulate the information on the LIHEAP procurements through your usual networks.  We do not anticipate any additional competitive bid solicitations beyond the four requests identified at the FBO website. 

Jeannie Chaffin                                                                      Nick St. Angelo
Director                                                                                    Director
Office of Community Services                                       Division of Energy Assistance