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HHS Conference Procurement and Planning Toolkit

Procurement and Planning Requirements and Guidance for Conference Hosts

Background:

Authors: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Conference Workgroup has compiled the HHS Conference Procurement and Planning Toolkit to provide conference procurement and planning requirements and guidance for HHS Operating Divisions (OPDIVs) and Staff Division (STAFFDIVs).  Date: June 4, 2014.

Approach:  The guidance is based on research and analysis of existing HHS conference procurement approaches and interviews with subject matter experts on federal conferences.  Research focused on understanding conference cost drivers, analyzing rates and options offered by D.C.-area conference venues, gathering best practices in conference planning, identifying models of efficient conference spending within HHS, highlighting various conference contract vehicles currently within HHS, and synthesizing Departmental guidance and requirements for HHS hosted conferences to drive more efficient conference spending.

Findings:

  • Based on research with subject matter experts, it is the opinion of the HHS Conference Workgroup that securing the best possible pricing and ensuring that the terms of a venue or event planning agreement sufficiently limit the government’s liability requires programmatic and contracting (officer) expertise. 
  • It is general industry knowledge that government staff vary greatly in their level of skill and knowledge to effectively negotiate with an event planner or a venue.  Event planners and venues could take advantage of this when working directly with government staff who are unfamiliar with conference and hotel economics and cost drivers. 
  • Therefore, utilizing one of the existing HHS conference contract vehicles will help streamline your acquisition team’s efforts and expedite the time needed by the Contracting Officer to make an award.  In addition, managing more HHS conference activity as a portfolio and increasing the volume of use of standard HHS conference contract vehicles as a strategic source may help drive more efficient conference spending.

Topics in this Guide:

Chapter I – HHS Conference Standard Operating Procedure

Chapter II – Conference Cost Drivers

Chapter III – Programmatic Considerations

Chapter IV – Contracting Considerations

Appendices:

Attachment:



Conference Procurement Toolkit - Print Version (PDF-53 pages)

Content created by Assist. Sec./Financial Resources-Grants/Acquisition Policy
Content last reviewed on July 18, 2014