OMB improves contracting procedures for local businesses owned by women and people of color
November 24, 2020
The City of Pittsburgh Office of Management and Budget has changed its procurement systems to better meet the needs of local businesses owned by women and people of color when they do business with the City.
Through a Living Cities City Accelerator cohort on Inclusive Procurement, the City's Office of Equity, Office of Business Diversity, and the Equal Opportunity Review Commission worked with OMB to get feedback from local businesses, and found the city could be doing a better job in publicly displaying future solicitations, and shortening the time between when a contract is awarded and executed.
"Equity is a priority for the City of Pittsburgh, and inclusive procurement is an opportunity for our city to recognize and understand the needs of our businesses owned by women and people of color and identify what tools they need to be successful. When our disadvantaged businesses succeed and are awarded city contracts, our money is invested into our communities and our entire local economy is stronger," said Riley Stewart, OMB's senior manager of contracting.
"When our disadvantaged businesses succeed and are awarded city contracts, our money is invested into our communities and our entire local economy is stronger," Mayor William Peduto said.
Government solicitations can be confusing and complex, so the city implemented a forecasting system so small businesses have more time to prepare or plan their proposals.
OMB worked with 19 City departments to develop a 12-month outlook of upcoming contracting needs, and merged them with future contract needs from city authorities, and updated them quarterly. This let businesses view upcoming contracts and bidding information in one spot, instead of having to search multiple websites.
OMB also worked to shorten the time between when a contract is awarded and executed, which further helped small businesses plan for income from contracts and the labor and other costs they would need to complete their work.
It also launched "Contract Connections: Bids for PGH," a remote training series to help local, diverse small businesses learn how to participate in the city and other agencies' procurement processes.
Businesses interested in contracting with the City can visit OMB's procurement site Beacon, https://pittsburghpa.gov/beacon/index.html, for further information.