Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has introduced a series of measures to the Atlanta City Council which would overhaul the City’s procurement process.
“As part of the One Atlanta platform, I pledged to create a more ethical, transparent and fiscally responsible government,” said Mayor Bottoms. “My procurement reform package not only transforms the way the City acquires vendors and third-party contracts, it also curbs spending and minimizes fiscal waste. As we continue to work towards restoring public trust, our Administration remains committed to implementing sound business processes in the City of Atlanta.”
Mayor Bottoms’ procurement reform package takes a multifaceted approach to the operations overhaul. Modifications include:
- The transition to a new e-Procurement system, which will automate the procurement process and the exchange of information between the City and its suppliers;
- The mandate that the identification method of bid submissions be included in the invitation for bids;
- The requirement that all small purchases greater than $50 but less than $20,000 be submitted to the Department of Procurement for sourcing;
- The institution of a not-to-exceed aggregate amount of $20,000 for all small purchases for each department, per vendor per fiscal year;
- The provision of competitive compensation for Procurement Appeals Hearing Officers.
In June, Mayor Bottoms appointed retired Lieutenant Colonel David L. Wilson, II to serve as the City’s Chief Procurement Officer. A recipient of the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious service, Wilson supported 40 diverse organizations throughout his career that managed $1.2 billion in commodity, service and construction contracts. He consistently led teams recognized by the Air Force for outstanding contracting and management.
Under the leadership of Chief Wilson, Atlanta’s Department of Procurement has taken critical steps to improve policies governing the City’s public bid process and align the organization with the Mayor’s focus on transparency and accountability.
Procurement reform measures that have been completed in Chief Wilson’s first 90 days include:
- Mandatory annual ethics training for the Department of Procurement;
- Standardization of internal documents and templates;
- Establishment of new performance metrics to regularly track and measure the effectiveness and efficiencies across the acquisition process;
- Establishment of a New Community Outreach team within the Department;
- Training of all appropriate City employees on the use of the soon-to-launch e-Procurement system.
In addition to the completed overhaul measures, the City of Atlanta has a robust pipeline of additional reform policy improvements which are slated for completion within the next 90 days. Included are:
- Conducting an independent audit review on all contracts involving amounts more than $1 million;
- Restructuring the Department of Procurement to ensure a more customer-focused model;
- Creating more flexibility in acquisitions;
- Increasing Market Research requirements;
- Establishing a Procurement Management Review program.