Centralized Contracting Unit (CCU)

The Centralized Contracting Unit (CCU) is part of the Human Services Department’s (HSD) Administrative Services Division. CCU, in collaboration with HSD’s divisions, administers HSD’s contracts, purchase orders (POs), and memorandum of understandings (MOUs) with the ultimate objective of supporting HSD’s work with the community. CCU collaborates closely with division and Fiscal staff in all phases of contract, purchase order, and MOU development, procurement, and monitoring. 

The CCU’s expertise and activities include the following:

  • Development of MOUs (with and without fiscal components)
  • Procurement, which includes the development of Request for Proposals (RFPs), Request for Quotations (RFQs), contract awards
  • Contract development and amendment including development and modifications of contract scopes and budgets;
  • Purchase order development and amendment
  • Monitoring of contract or purchase order spending including invoice monitoring;
  • Development of contract performance measures
  • Communication with vendors; and
  • Applying continuous quality and process improvement to procurement and contracting


Online System for Contracts and Renewals (OSCAR) is the electronic contracts and purchase order management and invoicing system of the Santa Cruz County Human Service Department (HSD).  The system is intended to manage the complete cycle of development, approval, monitoring, invoicing, and renewals of HSD contracts and purchase orders.  Using OSCAR, contract partners will be able to view their organization’s specific contracts and purchase orders, including the contract and purchase order budgets.  HSD contract partners will also be able to electronically submit and review their contract invoices through OSCAR.

OSCAR is a secure (encrypted), web-based platform that can be accessed through standard web browsers, including mobile iOS and Android browsers.  There is no need for additional software beyond a standard web browser to access OSCAR, and it is compatible with most desktop computers capable of browsing the internet.  In addition, OSCAR does not need any special high-speed internet connection; it works effectively with even low-bandwidth internet connections.

Please contact the HSD Centralized Contracts Unit (CCU) if you have any additional questions. 


After two years of research, assessment, and design, the County of Santa Cruz Human Services Department (HSD) launched two new two-year outcomes-oriented contracts with subsidized employment service providers, Goodwill Central Coast and Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County, Inc. (CAB). 

These contracts were written to address the needs of all stakeholders including program participants, employment partners, CAB, Goodwill, and HSD staff and leadership.   The work leading up to these new contracts was done in partnership with Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc. (Third Sector) and Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality (CPI). CPI integrated and analyzed available data, while Third Sector gathered qualitative data from robust stakeholder engagement.  This work was funded through a Social Innovation Fund grant awarded in 2016, with match funding from the Ballmer Group. 

For more information regarding these outcomes-oriented contracts and their development process, please visit:




In service to HSD’s mission and values, CCU has adopted the following:

Vision: Support and embrace all the values of the organization by:

  • Developing and implementing consistent departmental standards for contracting;
  • Creating a shared understanding of contracting best practices;
  • Creating efficiencies by dedicating staff to the purpose of contract procurement, development, and monitoring, and;
  • Expanding the department’s efforts of systematic performance review to contracted services.

Mission: Strengthen the department by supporting the development and administration of clear, measurable, and effective contracts that carry out the department’s mission.


  • Partnerships
  • Excellent Service
  • Effective Practice