Law makes public-private partnerships easier for nonprofits

Filed under: Daily News |

Under a new law, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations can now deliver public services through contracts with state government agencies.

House Bill 10-1010 was signed by Gov. Bill Ritter April 15 and authorizes all state agencies to enter into public-private initiative agreements with 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations.

The law also allows nonprofits to submit unsolicited proposals to perform services for state agencies.

Agencies evaluate the proposal based on such factors as innovative approaches, cost-savings, efficient delivery of services, enhanced quality of service delivery, potential contribution to the agency’s mission and the nonprofit’s capabilities. Once an agency determines that the proposal meets statutory criteria, the parties may enter into a contract.

Accountability measures and limitations include the caveat that if the unsolicited proposal would require the expenditure of more than $50,000 of state funds, the agency must give public notice to allow other nonprofits to submit proposals.

State agencies must adopt rules setting forth the procedures it will use to evaluate proposals. An agency cannot use the new law as a means to obtain a contract that it was already planning to competitively bid. Any department that enters into contracts through the unsolicited process must report them to the Joint Budget Committee during the regular budget process, according to the Colorado Nonprofit Association.