About the Self-Directed Services Financial Management and Counseling Services RFP




Financial Management & Counseling Services Request for Proposals
MDH OPASS 20-17751

Frequently Asked Questions

The Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) is committed to ensuring that Self-Directed Services provide autonomy, flexibility and individualized support for people with developmental disabilities.

The Financial Management and Counseling Services (FMS) Request for Proposals (RFP) preserves an individual’s existing choice of services while providing appropriate safeguards that are required to ensure the safety of those who receive DDA services.

1.  Why is a FMS required for a person who chooses self-directed services?

Self-directed services give waiver participants and their families “employer and budget authority” over some of the services they receive, how they receive them and who provides them. Individuals who choose self-directed services receive the mandatory FMS to make informed financial decisions. The FMS serves in an administrative capacity by processing payroll, approving timesheets, and adhering to the U.S. Department of Labor requirements for state and local laws on behalf of the “employer of record” (the self-directed participant).

2.  Why is the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) and the Office of Long-Term Services and Support (OLTSS) requesting proposals for Financial Management & Counseling Services (FMS)?

MDH issued the FMS RFP to address the Maryland General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Audits’ (OLA) findings and recommendations by conducting a competitive contract solicitation.

In Finding 4 of the legislative audit of the DDA, both the OLA and the MDH Office of the Inspector General found that the DDA obtained fiscal management services from two vendors under contracts in 2006. The contracts were not approved and were not comprehensive. MDH intends to resolve this finding as quickly as possible through the FMS RFP.

3.  Why is MDH awarding the contract to one FMS agency?

MDH did not undertake its decision to solicit one FMS agency in its RFP lightly; DDA sought guidance from Applied Self-Direction, the technical assistance, training, and membership arm of the National Resource Center for Participant-Direct Services (NRCPDS). Their recommendation was based on national best practices and the experiences of other states. For example, Virginia and Pennsylvania both have more individuals with self-directing services than Maryland and each state has one FMS agency.

4.  Does the FMS determine the services a self-directed person receives?

The contract resulting from the FMS RFP will not change the intent and outcomes for Marylanders with developmental disabilities and their families. The FMS is not part of the planning process that occurs during the development of the Person-Centered Plan (PCP). When a person chooses his or her services based on assessed needs, the person chooses who provides them.

5.  Does the DDA get a federal match for FMS?

The DDA has continuously received federal match funding for FMS services. The FMS RFP was not reissued based on the federal match.

6.  How is DDA addressing stakeholders concerns and questions about the FMS RFP?

The DDA has shared all FMS RFP comments, recommendations and responses from stakeholders and advocates through the eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA), the website housing all active RFPs. Questions and responses are publicly posted on MDH’s website, at:


As part of the procurement process, all questions and concerns from any member of the public, including advocacy groups, are posted, with a response from MDH.

The FMS RFP close date was extended twice to ensure the DDA answers all stakeholders’ questions and concerns.

For more information, please contact DDA Statewide Coordinator of Self-Directed Services NaToya Mitchell at natoya.mitchell@maryland.gov.

Download the FMS RFP Frequently Asked Questions