The Division of Employee Services (DOES), Office of Research Services (ORS) is responsible for the management and administration of the NIH-wide performance based contract with Sign Language Associates, Inc. ( SLA ) to provide interpreting services to the NIH community.
Upon completion of each year of this contract, the Project Officer will release a yearly Executive Summary that will provide an overview of the contract's activities related to its performance standards and usage of our web-based interpreting request system.
In September, 2004, a new 5-year contract agreement was implemented between SLA and the DOES. One of the most important changes in the new contract was the removal of Computer Assisted Real-Time Transcription (CART) services. The DOES established two new separate 1-year contracts with EckPro Services and Court Reporters to solely handle the high volume of small venue CART services being requested.
Mr. Chris Gaines, Project Officer, Retail/Interpreting Services Programs is responsible for the oversight and management of these new contracts. Ms. Carole Harman , Quality Assurance Specialist, will continue to be the primary contact person for handling the day-to-day management of interpreting requests. Ms Pamela Jenkins, Quality Assurance Specialist, will service as Ms. Harman's back-up in the day-to day operations.
September 30, 2005 ended the base year of the new contract with SLA and represented a year of change. One thing that has remained constant is the steady growth in the demand for interpreting and CART services. In comparison to the base year of the original contract with SLA , the Project Office processed and filled a total of 6,444 hours of interpreting services requests. Upon completion of the base year under the new contract, the Project Office processed and filled a total of 16,510.5 hours of interpreting services.
This represents a nearly 150% increase in the number of interpreting services hours being provided from the base year in 1999 to our current completed year in 2005.
This clearly demonstrates the demand for our services, and our NIH consumer's confidence in our administration of this essential program. In addition this is also is a reflection on SLA 's ability to provide contractual service as they continue to perform at or above their agreed upon performance standards. These standards can be found on our website and in the Interpreting Services Consumer Manual (PDF)
An important part of performance based contract monitoring involves feedback from our consumers. All interpreting service request confirmations sent via email ask that requesters/consumers take a few minutes to complete our feedback form and return it to our office. The form asks questions relevant to the contract's stated performance standards, and includes space for additional comments. Each month we share the forms with SLA as they provide valuable input which ensures that our consumers are receiving the best services.
With the large volume of hours being processed these consumer feedback forms become even more important for us to be able to track our contractor's performance. In our first option year we will be looking to improve on our customer feedback and ways for our consumers to give us input on the services that SLA is providing.
The DOES looks forward to assisting in providing exceptional interpreting services to the NIH for the remainder of this renewed contract. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Chris Gaines, Project Officer firstname.lastname@example.org , or Carole Harman , Quality Assurance Specialist, email@example.com at (301) 402-8180 (V) or (301) 435-1908 (TTY).