Atlanta’s Department of Procurement was ranked No. 2 on the Small Business Accessibility Survey and 6th place on innovative procurements per capita by Citymart. Out of 56 national cities, Atlanta raised its previous ranking from 27th and 14th place respectively.
Citymart — a leader in city procurement — is a technology and solutions company represented in over 130 global cities with public procurements that range from reducing chronic disease in London and stormwater management in Miami, to sustainable housing in New York City, digital equity in New Orleans and independent living in Sheffield.
“Atlanta is a city of opportunity,” said Bottoms. “We are actively investing in our local business community while creating new pathways for economic success and growth. We have diligently worked hard to overhaul our procurement process and create transparent and innovative solutions for business owners. We want to ensure our small business owners have the opportunity to participate in our economy and receive the resources they need. When these businesses grow and thrive so do our communities.”
Bottoms has introduced a series of measures since taking office to repair the City’s procurement process. On January 7, 2019, the City made the transition to a new e-Procurement system, which automates the procurement process and the exchange of information between the City and its suppliers. The e-Procurement system leads to more competitive bids and greater competition, streamlines and provides more transparency in the procurement process, and creates a centralized electronic tracking method to improve accountability.
The Administration has also instituted training for all City employees on the use of the new e–Procurement system, which will ensure the standardization of the procurement process Citywide.
Among the other reforms:
· Any contract valued at more than $1 million will be tracked by the Auditor’s office from the beginning of the process to the end of the process, ensuring an additional layer of oversight for contracts involving large dollar amounts;
· The mandate that the identification method of bid submissions be included in the invitation for bids, which will assist smaller businesses navigate the procurement process;
· The institution of a not-to-exceed aggregate amount of $20,000 for all small purchases for each department, per vendor per fiscal year, which will allow DOP to evaluate better pricing for bulk purchases, saving tax dollars in the process;
· The provision of competitive compensation for Procurement Appeals Hearing Officers;
· Beginning March 11, the City will post upcoming bids 15 days early, affording vendors — and potential sub-contractors — more time to prepare their documents for the submission process.
In June of 2018, 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.
In addition to procurement reform, Mayor Bottoms has ushered in a new era of transparency in City government with a number of reforms, including strengthening oversight and expanding restrictions on City credit card use, the creation of the role of chief transparency officer, the launch of Open Checkbook which makes it easier for the public to access City budgets, expenditures and contracts with vendors, and a new requirement for lobbyists to be registered with the Municipal Clerk.