The Finance Cabinet was quick with their response to the Center for Open Government’s request for documents submitted as a follow up to our August 3rd post.
We requested the following:
- All individual notes and individual scoresheets created by Evaluation Committee members between the dates of 1/10/20 and 5/29/20 for RFP 758 2000000202 Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO).
- All emails – “replies” and “forwards” – related to a July 9, 2020 email with the subject line “Materials” from David Gutierrez (CHFS DCBS DPP) to Amy Monroe (Finance).
The new documents don’t provide much in the way of new information about the scoring process for the MCO awards. They do, however, appear to have been withheld from an earlier ORR related to Anthem’s protest of the contract. Anthem was one of two vendors not selected as an MCO for Kentucky’s Medicaid program.
Kentucky’s “Model Procurement Code” includes provisions for unsuccessful bidders to challenge the decision that selects winning vendors. Protests are not only common, they are a near certainty in solicitations the size and scope of Medicaid managed care.
Members of the MCO selection committee were required to sign an Evaluation Committee Member Agreement that included a provision informing committee members that “consensus scoring and justification will be ORR after the award. Preliminary notes, emails, etc. are also subject to ORR and/or discovery. Keep all documentation secure indefinitely, this includes your proposals and any notes.”
As part of Anthem’s protest, Finance and CHFS produced an email and a scoresheet from one member of the selection committee. A second and third scoresheet for the MCO solicitation and three scoresheets for the associated “Supporting Kentucky Youths” (SKY) were provided in response to the Center’s ORR.
This begs the question: Why weren’t the documents provided in response to our request provided to Anthem earlier? ORR language that covered the first email and scoresheet almost certainly covered the additional scoresheets.
The new scoresheets appear to be nothing more than members from the selection committee tracking what would become the consensus scores. The process is undermined, however, when documents are not produced, even if by mistake. What other important information might still be unknown because it was overlooked when responding to other open records requests?
None of this suggests any deliberate attempt to withhold critical documents from discovery. Oversights like this are still problematic.
The MCO contracts are among the largest awarded by state government. Vendors invest an incredible amount of time, energy and resources in their preparation. It is a reasonable expectation that state government will make every effort to ensure confidence is maintained in the outcome until the very end.