Mayor Emanuel Announces Unprecedented Transparency For City Procurements

Starting in 2013 All Winning and Losing Bids will be Posted Online when Contract is Awarded

CHICAGO–(ENEWSPF)–December 14, 2012. Today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced that beginning in the first quarter of 2013, the Department of Procurement Services (DPS) will phase in an unprecedented increase in transparency in the procurement process by posting all winning and losing bids and proposals submitted by vendors online anytime a contract is awarded, including all line items of competitive bids.  DPS will start posting these documents online during the first quarter of 2013, starting with construction contracts and work services (competitive low bid contracts), followed by professional services (RFQ, RFP, and RFI’s). 

“Since day one, my administration has been aggressively increasing transparency citywide to make government more accountable to Chicago taxpayers,” said Mayor Emanuel. “With these new reforms, Chicago will be among the most transparent cities in the country when it comes to providing information about procurement, the bidding process, its contractors and subcontractors.”

DPS currently posts bid tabulations for all competitive, low bid projects.  Those bid tabs show the names of the bidders and the total amount bid.  As another part of the push to increase transparency, a list of bidder’s proposed subcontractors will now also be listed online with the bid tabulation information, including M/WBE businesses that are not currently listed online. Additionally, DPS will begin sending contract award letters to the M/WBE subcontractors to alert them that the prime vendor that committed to their utilization is the winner of the contract. 

And to streamline the City’s procurement process and enhance efficiency, “E-Procurement” will be implemented in early 2013, as well.  E-procurement will provide benefits such as increased efficiency and cost savings by providing an online bid submittal process which eliminates paper submittals, allows for more efficient bid review and processing, streamlines record storage and enhances transparency in the City’s procurement services.

The procurement reforms announced by Mayor Emanuel today are the latest in a series of procurement reforms aimed at streamlining the bidding process and increasing transparency.  Others include:

  • The City’s successful reverse auction program implemented in 2012 will continue to be used when appropriate, and has already achieved substantial cost savings.
  • The City now requires all sole source contract requests to be posted on the City’s website for review and comment prior to being submitted to the Non-Competitive Review Board for consideration.
  • In 2013, DPS is also eliminating the $900 bid submittal fee for contracts that are estimated to be valued around $10 million in order to encourage bidder participation and stimulate competition to get the best price for City taxpayers.