Department Operations Updates: DECEMBER 6, 2021

This post includes a summary of recent Dallas County department operations updates relevant, specifically, to members of the Dallas County Commissioners Court.

Team updates include:

  • Purchasing
  • Small Business Enterprise (SBE)
  • Pretrial Services
  • Veteran Services

Purchasing

Director: Michael Frosch

Michael Frosch, Director of Purchasing

Our department remains committed to delivering timely service to its clients through strategic and competitive purchasing while working diligently to maximize purchasing power and establishing business opportunities for local, small and minority communities. 

The Purchasing Department is actively involved in the design and implementation process of the County’s new financial system which is expected to a “best in class” financial system.

Our department continues to implement contracts to support the client departments’ operational needs. To date for FY2021-22, the Purchasing Department has submitted 59 Court agenda items in the estimated amount of $64M, released eight requests for proposals, and authorized six separate public auctions. 

In collaboration with key stakeholders, we would like to highlight a few significant contract awards approved by the Commissioners Court to date:

  • November 16, 2021 – Three-year library maintenance agreement for books and products for the Law Library.
  • November 16, 2021 – Two-year service contract for job order contracting.
  • November 2, 2021 – Three-year service contract for the real estate appraisal and related professional services.
  • November 2, 2021 – Five-year service contract for Family Medical Leave Act administrative services.
  • October 19, 2021 – Two-year service contract for construction material testing and geotechnical engineering services.
  • October 19, 2021 – Five-year service contract for the Public Defender Case Management System. 

Our department continues to work in collaboration with the Office of Small Business Enterprise (SBE) to educate, promote awareness, competition, and create a more transparent public-procurement process.

The following events were held during the reporting period and had more than 500 attendees:

  • On November 9, 2021, Michael Frosch represented the Purchasing Department and presented the “How to Do Business” presentation at the SBE coordinated Town Hall hosted by Judge Jenkins. 
  • On October 21, 2021, Michael Frosch represented the Purchasing Department and presented the “How to Do Business” presentation at the SBE coordinated Town Hall hosted by Commissioner Price. 
  • On September 22, 2021, Michael Frosch and Mario Alvarado represented the Purchasing Department and presented the “How to Do Business” presentation at the SBE coordinated Town Hall hosted by Commissioner Garcia. This virtual event was conducted in two separate sessions, in English and Spanish. 
  • On August 26, 2021, Michael Frosch represented the Purchasing Department and presented the “How to Do Business” presentation at the SBE coordinated Town Hall hosted by Commissioner Daniel. 

Our department welcomed six new employees during this quarter.

  • Theresa Isenhour, Contract Specialist (September 13, 2021)
  • Stephen Cordova, Buyer (September 13, 2021)
  • Scott Campbell, Buyer (September 13, 2021)
  • Joel Perez, Buyer (September 27, 2021)
  • Consolata Mutuku, Administrative Assistant (October 11, 2021)
  • Daniel Campos, Senior Secretary (October 25, 2021)

Congratulations to Debra Morris, Contracts Specialist, for her recent transfer to Contracts Specialist with Health and Human Services.

Congratulations to Nancy Martinez, Buyer, for her recent promotion to Contracts Specialist within the Purchasing Department.  

James Doss, Contracts Specialist, and Kim Gould, Purchasing Manager, successfully completed the Project Procedures Qualification certification course through Texas Local Technical Assistance Program (TxLAP) for Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). 

Michael Frosch, Purchasing Director, was invited to join the National Association of Counties (NACo) procurement advisory committee. The newly formed committee held its first virtual meeting on November 16, 2021, and will have four meetings next fiscal year. 

Small Business Enterprise (SBE)

Director: Jesse Crawford 

Jesse Crawford, Director of Small Business Enterprise

Our office remains committed to developing a robust and best in class Small Business Enterprise program, which requires a complex balance of needs, stakeholder engagement, and advocacy/outreach.

Our department welcomed a new SBE Director in September 2021.

The new Director of Small Business Enterprise, Mr. Jesse L. Crawford, was hired on September 14 and brings a strong track record of leadership and advocacy on behalf of small, diverse, and woman-owned businesses with sustainable results to the County. He immediately conducted operational assessments, setting his expectations and driving accountability, trust, high performance and a “we touch it, we own it” professional approach. Training sessions were conducted to address key client focus, project management, continuous improvement, and open communication. His ultimate vision is to create an SBE “Center of Excellence” and culture, where the highest standards for participation, advocacy, compliance, and commitments to increasing business opportunities for small businesses is achieved.

Our department continues to successfully partner with Dallas County business units to host outreach activities to educate the small business community on “how to conduct business with Dallas County,” build capacity, and drive their increased participation in the bids and solicitation processes.

  • We conducted mass marketing campaigns to over 112 chambers and business advocacy organizations in the North Texas Region. The goal was to help promote and drive participation for the Dallas County Outreach activities and initiatives related to SBE and Purchasing processes.
  • We attended 12 industry events, such as the DFW Minority Supplier Development Council (MSDC) E-Awards, Dallas Regional Supplier Diversity Conference, and Virtual DISD Day (featuring Director Jesse Crawford), to promote the bidding opportunities procured by Dallas County.
  • We reviewed and updated the SBE Department’s website, outreach brochures and program ads to enhance our branding, while ensuring accurate and timely updates on current bid opportunities and overall program information regarding SBE initiatives.

Our department successfully launched and conducted the Commissioner Court Town Hall Series.

  • The purpose of the “How To Do Business With Dallas County” Town Hall Series is to shine a spotlight on the contracting opportunities available with Dallas County along a broad range of commodity lines. The event was successfully conducted through in-person, virtual, and hybrid formats, in partnership with Purchasing and our approved Certification Agencies, with a goal to provide small business enterprises with information in the areas of: Office of Small Business Enterprise resources and tools; available current and forecasted contracting opportunities; and an overview of the SBE certification requirements.
  • These events generated over 950 pre-registrations with 500 attendees joining the events either online or in person to learn “how to do business with the County.” The following are the list of Town Hall Series during this quarter:
    • Dallas County District 1 – Commissioner Theresa Daniel. The event was held at the District 1 Road and Bride Office and virtually on Thursday, August 26, 2021 at 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
    • Dallas County District 3 – Commissioner John Wiley Price. The event was held at the new South Dallas Government Center (SDGC) and virtually on Thursday, October 21, 2021 at 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
    • Dallas County District 4 – Commissioner Elba Garcia. The event was held virtually in English and Spanish on Wednesday, September 22, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (English) and 12:30 – 1:30 pm (Spanish).
    • Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins – The event was held virtually on Wednesday, November 9, 2021 at 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 pm
    • Please Note:  Jesse Crawford is meeting with Commissioner Koch in December to discuss the scheduling and planning activities for his Town Hall event (targeting early 2022).

Our department continues to update our B2Gnow Compliance Reporting System.

We updated the B2Gnow compliance letters content and messaging, subcontractor participation and substitution forms, monthly utilization reporting form, and letterheads to reflect new leadership and address changes.

SBE is excited to announce that our vacant compliance officer position (#6038) was posted on November 18, 2021.

The new compliance officer will be instrumental in reviewing prime-contract awards to confirm all listed subcontractors are being paid and will ensure all contract-award and subcontractor data is captured in our B2Gnow system to create statistical and quantitative reports. This data collection is a critical success factor for future disparity studies. The officer will also build and maintain relationships with potential Primes to ensure their understanding and compliance with SBE utilization.

The SBE Program is committed to promoting the participation of small businesses in all aspects of contracting with Dallas County.

Pretrial Services

Director: Duane Steele

Duane Steele, Deputy Director of Pretrial Services

Our department congratulates Smart Justice Officer Akua Cosby for being selected to participate in the Dallas County Leadership and Management Academy Class of 2022.

Our department remains committed to continuing operations of essential functions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In July 2021 we went back to having all staff onsite. However, with an increase of COVID-19 cases we returned to telecommuting with staggered work schedules. We established a duty rotation and only require duty officers onsite to reduce the number of employees in the office at any given time. Duty officers facilitate inmate interviews, hookups (ELM), releases, and alcohol monitoring orientations. For the defendants we supervise, we keep the foot traffic low and have them report by phone unless equipment and/or compliance issues arise.

Our department recognizes our employees of the month for their exceptional work.

  • August: Shanikwa Johnson – Ms. Johnson has been going above and beyond for the Pretrial Department for the last several months, showing immense dedication to cross-training. She volunteered her time to assist another unit in the department and provided much-needed assistance. The work she completed has been vital, and she became an asset to both the Intake Unit and the Alcohol Monitoring Unit. It is clear she cares about our departmental mission and takes her job duties and responsibility to the public seriously. She was recently promoted to the Alcohol Monitoring Unit, and our department is lucky to have her. 
  • September: Jessica Gamez – Ms. Gamez started with Pretrial Services as an alcohol monitoring technician in December 2017. She quickly picked up job duties and began implementing great case management strategies. Due to her great work ethic and willingness to learn new duties, she was promoted to the Smart Justice Unit. As her work excelled in this unit as well, she was asked to take on the Outpatient Competency Restoration caseload. She is essential in keeping accurate statistics for the Smart Justice Unit and daily enters and monitors data collected. She is instrumental in keeping up with down caseloads when officers are out and is always looking for ways to help her teammates. In 2021 she was elected to the Texas Association of Pretrial Services executive board as the Northeast Region Representative.
  • October: Allie Yun – Although she is one of our newest ELM Officers, Allie has grown so much as an officer and teammate. Allie is determined, pays attention to detail, and is a team player. Allie is detail oriented and has quickly become one of our best officers when it comes to navigating the monitoring system, Sentrak. Allie takes detailed notes about her clients and communicates with them often. She is stern but fair, and tries to help her defendants with problems as they arise instead of being authoritative. Allie is a wonderful asset for those that have mental health issues, as she can assist those defendants that also must have an ELM.
  • November: Daniel Jackson – Mr. Jackson is thorough, consistent, and precise in his job duties. He utilizes CSS, Sentrak, OnBase, FORVUS, etc. to enhance his work productivity. Mr. Jackson can respond quickly to several different tasks that are thrown his way and is able to multitask and help others on his team. Mr. Jackson is fair but firm with his defendants, and he always conducts himself in a professional manner with defendants, attorneys, and judges. He is often requested by the Courts to help solve problems and/or to be assigned to a particular defendant. Mr. Jackson also did very well on his recent audits.

Veteran Services

Interim Director: James T Henderson Jr. (U.S. Army, Retired)

James T Henderson Jr. (U.S. Army, Retired)

Our department remains committed to the core mission of “assisting eligible Veterans and/or their survivors in obtaining benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the State of Texas. Our primary focus is to ensure that all Dallas County Veterans and dependents receive every federal and state benefit to which they are entitled.”

Debt to the federal government is stressful, but for an elderly surviving spouse with a monthly income of only Social Security, this can be overwhelming. When Ms. Delaney, a surviving spouse, reached out to Veteran Services, we were able to help get the debt waived.

Pension with Aid and Attendance is a benefit afforded to both Veterans and Survivors according to their incomes. Ms. Delaney reached out to the Veteran Services department in 2019 needing help concerning a letter that she received. After careful review of this document, it was apparent that there was a debt owed to the Department of Veteran Affairs in the amount of $104,000, due to an overpayment of her current benefit. Ms. Delaney was devastated and required immediate assistance. This was a debt created for a 92-year-old surviving spouse, living on Social Security as a sole means of income. Through careful litigation with the VA by the Veteran Services Department, we were able to get the entire debt waived as of October 2021. This has given relief to Ms. Delaney financially and provided her assurance that her current Social Security benefits will neither be garnished or reduced. She was elated and said, “Thank the Lord, and thank you for helping me. I don’t have to worry about being put on the street.”

For the second consecutive year, Veterans Day celebrations in Dallas County were impacted by COVID-19. Although the annual parade was cancelled, the Dallas community celebrated its Veterans in other ways. Veteran Services participated in and provided organizational assistance for many of these recognition events.

  • Veteran Services honored the Veteran community by joining the Dallas College and the City of Duncanville in celebrating Veterans Day, offering benefit assistance, and introducing education programs at the college.
  • Celebrating our most senior Veterans is always a highlight. Visitations to assisted living facilities and nursing homes was and will always be an honor.
  • Educational venues, such as high schools, are always exciting for our Veteran community. The Desoto High School and JROTC program, in conjunction with the Desoto Veterans Affairs Committee, provided Veterans food baskets and hosted an honoring ceremony for Veterans Day recognition.
  • Desoto High School JROTC honored Veterans during Desoto’s “Veterans Day Food Destitution.”