Mayor Scott Releases Procurement Transformation Plan to Improve the City's Purchasing System
Friday Feb 2nd, 2024
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BALTIMORE, MD (Friday, February 2, 2024) — Today, Mayor Brandon M. Scott released a plan to revolutionize the city’s nearly $1 billion annual purchasing system, doubling down on his administration’s commitment to modernizing city government in order to provide responsible stewardship of city resources. The plan details the administration’s efforts to assess the city’s current procurement system, implement leading national practices, and modernize the procurement process to ensure the ethical, efficient, transparent, and equitable use of public funds.
“When I first took office in December 2020, modernizing outdated city government functions became a cornerstone of my administration, and we immediately began the process of reforming our procurement system to significantly improve the delivery of city services, vendor relations, and the experience of working with city government,” said Mayor Brandon M. Scott. “Today, I am proud to announce the progress we have made and our plans to build a procurement system that works for all of our residents and customers.”
Mayor Scott’s efforts to reform the procurement process began in early 2021, almost immediately after he took office. In March 2021, Mayor Scott directed the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) to work in partnership with the Department of Finance (DOF) to assess the city’s procurement policies, systems, administrative processes, technology, tools, capacity, and structure. DOF engaged skilled internal experts, academic partners, and consultants to explore leading national practices, assess the current state of procurement, conduct a gap analysis, and present final recommendations to improve the city’s procurement system.
DOF and key partners facilitated discovery and vendor interviews, surveyed suppliers, and reviewed approximately $950 million in expenditures and thousands of purchase orders. In an important step forward in the reform efforts, in May 2023, Mayor Scott announced the hiring of Adam Manne as the City's Chief Procurement Officer. Manne was tasked with immediate implementation of improvements to the procurement system, filling procurement vacancies, and finalizing the city’s procurement transformation roadmap.
“The City of Baltimore has a unique opportunity to leverage procurement as a strategic tool to advance equity and improve the delivery of core city services,” said Chief Administrative Officer Faith Leach. “Our nearly $1B annual purchasing power is a catalytic tool that should be used to spur economic growth and double down on the Scott Administration’s investment in our people: vendors, contractors, grantees and residents. This plan will create a procurement system that is more efficient, nimble, and transparent and that meets the needs of our growing city.”
The plan provides 22 recommendations to tackle longstanding, systemic challenges associated with Baltimore’s antiquated procurement practices that were exacerbated by increased purchases and staffing shortages as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Prioritizing people, policy, technology, and process, the plan enumerates recent modifications to standardize and professionalize the procurement function, streamline the procurement and contracting process, revise procurement policies and regulations, and automate procurement functions.