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The Department utilizes a system of phased, competitive, multi-year planning and funding cycles for social service investments. Staggering issue area cycles across multi-year timeframes allows for thoughtful allocation and management of limited County resources through assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation activities.

During 2015-2018, the Department transitioned to its current strategy, in order to:

  • Conduct cyclical planning for each Issue Area Investment Portfolio in our program matrix;
  • Improve responsiveness to community conditions and community needs; and
  • Promote access, consistency, and transparency for existing and potential contractors.

The table below lists the funding cycles and competition schedule for the Department’s existing issue areas. In 2019, following the changes to revenue caps by the Texas State Legislature, the Department opted to delay the start of Cycle 2 by up to two years. Read the 2019 letter from HHS County Executive Sherri Fleming with more information on this calendar change.

Read the 2021 update regarding the Travis County HHS social service investment system and related timelines.

Issue AreaCycle 1Cycle 2 ORIGINALCycle 2 REVISED
Year of CompetitionFunding Cycle YearsYear of CompetitionFunding Cycle YearsYear of CompetitionFunding Cycle Years
Child and Youth Development* 2014/2015 FY15/16-FY20 2020 FY21-FY25

Cycle 2 solicitations compete no sooner than 2022

Specific calendar TBD

Funding cycles TBD depending on solicitation calendar
Workforce Development 2015 FY16-FY20 2020 FY21-FY25
Holistic Family Services** 2015 FY16-FY20 TBD TBD
Housing Continuum 2016 FY17-FY21 2021 FY22-FY26
Safety Intervention Services 2016 FY17-FY21 2021 FY22-FY26
Access to Basic Supports:
Food, Transportation, Legal Rights & Benefits
2017 FY18-FY22 2022 FY23-FY27
Supportive Services for Community Living 2017 FY18-FY22 2022 FY23-FY27
Public Health Social Services*** 2018 FY19-FY23 2023 FY24-FY28
Behavioral Health 2018 FY19-FY23 2023 FY24-FY28
Planning and Evaluation TBD TBD TBD TBD

*In Cycle 1, Early Childhood contracts were competed in 2014 as a subset of the Child and Youth Development issue area, as a pilot for the new competitive procurement process. The rest of the issue area (Youth Development) competed in the following year. These EC contracts received one additional 12-month funding renewal beyond the standard 60 months, in order to come into timeline alignment with YD contracts in Cycle 2.

**This pilot investment (a multi- issue area, placed based initiative) is still being implemented and evaluated. Future investment specifics/timeline are TBD.

***Public Health interlocals follow a different process and timeline.

Although specific dates may vary by issue area, in general, the competition year timeline is roughly as follows:

  • Solicitation release in winter (January-March)
  • Evaluation of proposals in spring (March-May)
  • Contract negotiations and awards in summer through early fall (June-September)
  • Contract target start date on October 1st

Most services will compete for funding through a Request for Services or Request for Proposals process. All solicitations are run through BidSync. The specific dates for solicitation open and close, the available funding, the scope of services, desired outcomes, and evaluation criteria will be individualized to each issue area’s solicitation. However a few general criteria will apply to all solicitations:

  • Agencies responding to an HHS social services solicitation must successfully pass an Administrative and Fiscal Review (AFR), which includes, but is not limited to, answering narrative questions concerning the agency’s controls and fiscal information, submitting the current IRS form 990 and Audit, and excerpts from the agency’s Personnel Policies and Procedures as requested.
  • Agencies responding to an HHS social services solicitation should expect to provide detailed narrative responses describing target populations, eligibility criteria, service delivery models, quality standards, performance measurement, and other components of proposed services.
  • Proposals will be scored using published evaluation criteria as stated in the specific solicitation.
  • If awarded, contracts usually begin on October 1st and follow a fiscal year calendar.
  • Agencies awarded a contract must meet Travis County requirements.

Current contractors will continue to be renewed annually for the period stated in the contract, provided they continue to meet contract requirements. Some contracts may be extended via a contract modification to align with the revised Cycle 2 schedule.

Existing contractors will receive specific, detailed communications from their Travis County contract staff in the year prior to their issue area’s competition cycle, informing them when their current funding is set to expire without renewal, and when their issue area is expected to be competed. They will also be notified when solicitations are released.

Any current contractor or other service provider desiring to apply for Travis County social service funding can choose to compete for funds in any of our issue areas. The Department has organized its existing investments into issue areas based on the best fit of those programs with our desired service outcomes. For each solicitation, the outcomes for purchase are defined in the Scope of Services. We recommend that agencies read and carefully consider the Scope of Services for each solicitation, and compete for funds in the issues area for which their program best aligns with the outcomes. Note that identical services cannot be funded simultaneously through multiple issue area competitions.

Issue areas are subject to change. Read the summary of the Department's current issue areas.

To verify the issue area classification for current contractors, refer to the Department’s annual Community Impact Report.

For current solicitations, please refer to that specific solicitation via BidSync.

During an open solicitation, the following avenues of support are available to potential applicants:

  • Optional Pre-Response Conference: This meeting with Travis County staff is offered during the open solicitation window, typically 1-2 weeks after the solicitation is posted and 1-2 weeks before the question submission deadline. Meeting logistics are published in the solicitation. This is the applicants’ only opportunity to ask questions directly to Purchasing and HHS staff regarding the solicitation. A transcript/summary of Questions & Answers (Q & A) will be posted to BidSync after the conference. Travis County highly encourages potential applicants to attend, read the solicitation in advance, and bring questions to the conference.
  • Solicitation Q & A Support: Applicants may submit questions in writing at any time up to the deadline through BidSync. Answers to questions will be provided in BidSync so that all potential applicants receive the same information. Please see solicitation for instructions.
  • Solicitation and Technical Support: Applicants may contact the Purchasing Office for solicitation assistance. For technical support, please contact BidSync customer support (Telephone: 800-990-9339, Email: [email protected]). The Purchasing Office strongly recommends all vendors responding to a solicitation start their response at least 1-2 days before the bid closes in case technical support is needed.

For general questions when there is no open solicitation, vendors may contact Travis County HHS or Purchasing staff at any time, via the contacts listed below.

For current solicitations, please refer to that specific solicitation via BidSync.

In order to receive solicitation notifications, potential applicants must create a BidSync account and customize the account to receive email notifications based on industry commodity codes. (Please note that email notifications are not County department specific.)

As a courtesy, when issue area solicitations are issued, HHS staff send formal notice via email to current Travis County HHS social service contractor staff who are listed on contract forms. HHS staff also send announcements through established social service networks and collaborations (such as newsletters for One Voice Central Texas, Community Action Network, and various local issue area groups).

If you have applied for Travis County funds through a past solicitation, you may request to review your evaluation results through the Travis County Purchasing Office. Some vendors find this helpful to inform or strengthen their future application efforts.

Please note County staff cannot discuss results of a given solicitation until that solicitation is awarded. Also, County staff cannot discuss the applications or outcomes of other applicants. (In other words, we can only discuss results pertinent to your application; County staff cannot discuss why any other applicant was or was not funded, or disclose information about other funded or unfunded proposals.) County staff also cannot discuss the specifics or details of potential upcoming solicitations as this creates an unfair advantage to other applicants.

Contact the stated Purchasing Office contact to request a meeting to discuss your evaluation results. Please be prepared with the solicitation number.

Contractual obligations include, but are not limited to, the following responsibilities:

  • Participate in and be responsive to contract negotiations with Travis County staff.
  • Deliver services in a manner consistent with the executed contract.
  • Submit request for payment forms as specified in the contract. Payment requests are based on reimbursements of actual program expenditures.
  • Submit quarterly performance reports with output and outcome data, and aggregate client zip code and demographic data where available.
  • Complete annual tasks for contract renewal process.
  • Participate in Travis County monitoring visits.
  • Notify Travis County of any changes to program services or key staff.
  • Respond to any ad-hoc inquiries from Travis County staff.

For information related to an open solicitation, the applicant shall not contact anyone at Travis County other than those persons listed as the point of contact in the solicitation. Any other contact may disqualify the proposal response from consideration for award.

Individuals or entities intending to respond to an open solicitation and any person acting on behalf of them are prohibited from contacting individual members of the Travis County Commissioners Court or their staff or user department staff about the open solicitation. Any such contact may disqualify the proposal response from consideration for award.

For questions about an open solicitation, please contact the Purchasing Office contact listed in the solicitation or call 512-854-9700.

For general assistance from the Purchasing Office, go to their staff directory.

For general questions about HHS’s social service investments, please contact:
HHS_R&[email protected]


Pilar Sanchez,
County Executive

HHS Divisions

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