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Performance-Based Contracting For Human Services: A Proposed Model

Author: LAWRENCE L. MARTIN
Published in PAQ, Vol. 31 No. 2

This article presents a proposed model of performance-based contracting for human services. The model uses an expanded systems framework as an organizing theme, is based on the actual practices of a small purposeful sample of state human service agencies, and includes contractor financial risk and contractor data needs components. The purpose of the model is to provide a conceptual framework that can be used by government human service agencies to assess the various approaches to performance-based contracting and their implications. As prologue, a brief history of contracting for human services is presented. The historical review demonstrates that the current interest with performance-based contracting is the result of evolutionary changes in the concept of “accountability” in human service contracting that have occurred over the past 25 years.

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