090.001 Roles and Responsibilities of the Section Regarding Contractors

Policy Number 090.001
Effective Date June 4, 1998
Revision Date June 4, 1998
Approval Authority TB/HIV/STD Section Manager

1.0 Purpose

This policy will clarify the roles and responsibilities of the Department of State Health Services (DSHS), TB/HIV/STD Section (Section) to organizations that contract or work cooperatively with the Section to provide HIV/STD prevention, diagnostic, treatment, and psychosocial services.

2.0 Authority

V.T.C.A. Health and Safety Code, §§ 85.031-85.206; General Provisions for DSHS Contracts; DSHS Independent Audit Requirements for Subrecipients; Uniform Grant Management Standards (UGMS); 1 Texas Administrative Code (TAC), §§5.141-5.167

3.0 Background

DSHS is given the legislative authority and direction to administer funds and programs related to preventing and treating HIV and STDs. The Section is the focal point of funding and administration of HIV/STD activities for DSHS. As such, the Section’s mission encompasses preventing, diagnosing and treating HIV and STDs and includes:

  1. providing funding for certain HIV/STD activities (e.g., HIV treatment and services, HIV and STD prevention, HIV/STD disease intervention);

  2. providing HIV/STD education and information;

  3. collecting, interpreting and distributing data relating to HIV and STDs;

  4. providing guidance to those who oversee, plan for, or provide HIV and STD services, and

  5. providing medication and supplies to prevent, manage and treat communicable diseases.

The Section carries out its responsibilities by procuring, allocating and managing fiscal and human resources using minimal administrative costs in order to provide maximum funding for direct services to residents across the state.

4.0 Definitions as Used in the Policy

Client - an individual who is determined by a provider to be eligible for services.

Contractor - a legal entity under contract with DSHS to provide goods or services to people who are infected or affected by HIV, AIDS or STDs, or to implement goals supporting the Section's mission.

Services - program activities offered by a provider on behalf of the Section for prevention, health, medical, and social and support services.

5.0 Section Responsibilities

To achieve its mission, the Section has diverse responsibilities related to services it delivers. The majority of these services are provided through contracts with community based organizations, local health departments and other state agencies. As a consequence, many of these responsibilities relate to the manner in which contracts are monitored for quality and completion.

The Section has chosen to maintain low administrative costs. Therefore, the Section may not be able to meet all of these needs, and contractors should not rely on the Section to fully meet these needs.

The Section’s roles and responsibilities are outlined below.

5.1 Fiscal management

  • Receives funds from the legislature and federal government

  • Determines the methods of allocating funds to the local level through Request for Proposal and Request for Application processes

  • Negotiates budgets and work plans with contractors

  • Initiates contract development

  • Develops program guidance, policies and regulations

5.2 Education and Training

  • Determines the HIV/STD training needs of contractors

  • Develops or refers contractors to appropriate training curricula

  • Provides or assists the Contractor in arranging for training

  • Develops public information materials about HIV/STD prevention and services

  • Responds to external customer requests for information, referral and assistance related to HIV/STDs

5.3 Program and service support

  • Provides policies, guidance and technical assistance to HIV Care Consortia and HIV Community Planning Groups

  • Provides policies, guidelines, standards and technical assistance to HIV/STD contractors

  • Monitors Contractor compliance on program issues, administrative capacity and program effectiveness

  • Requires specific action from contractors to bring findings of noncompliance into compliance with program provisions

  • Evaluates program effectiveness

  • Monitors DSHS Regional STD disease intervention activities for compliance with administrative and program standards and requirements

5.4 Clinical services

  • Insures that clinical and case management service delivery systems meet the basic needs of clients and maximize the use of grant funds

  • Insures that clinical and case management practices used by contractors to prevent, diagnose and treat HIV disease and STDs conform to accepted professional practices and standards

  • Insures that STD clinics receive proper amounts of medicines and applicable supplies necessary to provide treatment according to recognized professional practices and standards

5.5 Reporting, report analysis and information distribution

  • Determine reporting requirements for contractors

  • Receive reports and analyze data

  • Compile, analyze and disseminate HIV and STD statistical information

  • Provide reporting information to funding sources and contractors

6.0 Responsibilities of Other DSHS Sections and Divisions

Other sections and divisions within DSHS also have responsibilities related to HIV/STD contractor agencies. These responsibilities include:

  1. contract development;

  2. financial compliance technical assistance and monitoring;

  3. processing Contractor vouchers and financial reports;

  4. laboratory processing of specimens collected by contractors;

  5. limited provisions of medical supplies, and

  6. consultation by the Office of General Counsel regarding legal issues.

The list above is not meant to be inclusive. There may be other DSHS sections and/or divisions that are not listed which deal with Section contractors.

7.0 Investigation of Client Complaints or Conflicts of Interest

The Section investigates the following:

  • complaints about the delivery of client services by contractors, and

  • reports of conflicts of interest regarding funding allocations, contract award processes or other activities which may be in violation of state and federal law, Section policies, the contract with DSHS or ethical practices of the affected organization.

8.0 Ethical Practices by Section Staff

Section staff are frequently asked to provide technical assistance to contractors and their staff. Section staff are required to exercise extreme care not to overstep ethical and legal bounds while providing assistance. Staff are required to limit actions or recommendations to issues that will ensure applicable laws, contract provisions and policies are properly understood, implemented and enforced.

The following are examples of situations in which it would be inappropriate for Section staff to become involved in contractor operations:

  • recommending or suggesting a course of action that is illegal, questionable or "bends" the law;

  • becoming involved in contractor personnel issues or attempting to influence resolution of a personnel issue in favor of one side or the other;

  • discussions about specific contractor personnel actions related to an employee or group of employees;

  • attempting to unduly influence a contractor to contract for services with a specific organization, or

  • attempting to influence the competitive selection of vendors or subcontractors.

8.1 Responsibilities of staff

Section employees are to adhere Section Policy 020.007, Standards of Conduct, Conflict of Interest, and Employee Ethics, at all times. Staff who question if their conduct or course of action with a contractor is acceptable are directed to contact their supervisor for guidance.

9.0 Revision History

Date Action Section
9/1/2017 Changed "TB/HIV/STD Unit" to "TB/HIV/STD Section" to reflect new program designation
9/3/2014 Converted format (Word to HTML) -
11/30/2002 Converted format (WordPerfect to Word) -