Mayor Scott takes first step in reforming Baltimore’s procurement process with focus on equity

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Mayor Brandon M. Scott (Courtesy Photo/https://mayor.baltimorecity.gov/)

Mayor Issues Request for Proposals for Comprehensive Assessment of Procurement Policies and Practices

BALTIMORE, MD (Monday, March 8, 2021) — In his latest effort to modernize Baltimore City government and improve equitable outcomes, Mayor Brandon M. Scott announced plans for a full reform of the procurement system. Baltimore’s procurement process has long been criticized as outdated, inefficient, and inequitable.

To kick off this work, the Scott Administration will issue a request for proposals (RFP) for a comprehensive assessment of procurement policies and practices. The RFP will include a comprehensive assessment of procurement code, policies, systems, administrative processes, technology tools, and overall capacity. The contractor will report to an executive steering committee composed of the City Administrator, Director of Finance, and Director of Information Technology.

“Our outdated procurement process is in need of a complete overhaul. Baltimore City has the responsibility to purchase goods and services in an efficient, equitable way that benefits our businesses and local community,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “We must ensure that the rules are easier to navigate and that policies already on the books, like the small and local business preference, are followed. This charge is even more important with the impact that COVID-19 continues to have on our business community.”

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“This solicitation is a positive step forward in realizing the Mayor’s vision for a more professional city government focused on customer service. I am excited to work with the City Council and Comptroller’s Office to begin this comprehensive assessment of procurement code, policies, systems, administrative processes, and technology tools,” said City Administrator Christopher Shorter. “This work will include a review of opportunities to improve coordination across all City agencies, including the Department of Public Works, Department of Transportation and Department of General Services.”

On February 3, Mayor Scott committed to initiating a full reform of the procurement process as part of his 100 Day of Action Tracker, a public-facing dashboard that allows the public to follow along with the administration’s progress and priorities.

The Mayor’s transition team, which included more than 250 Baltimoreans focused on developing concrete recommendations to move Baltimore forward, included many recommendations aimed at reforming the procurement process. Committees recommended reforming the procurement process to make it more transparent, increase access for Baltimore’s small businesses, pay vendors on time, reduce conflicts of interest, and support environmentally-sustainable purchasing.