The City has an Open Procurement System which means a Department can view and access the contracts of another Department. This has caused some consternation as to how a Department can be sure that another Department is not using its contract either purposely or inadvertently. This article discusses the benefits of an Open Procurement system and the safeguards for departments.

Benefits of Open Procurement System

  • Ability to view and assess contracts
  • Citywide help with sourcing and negotiations
  • Departments can borrow or leverage each other’s contracts, when mutually agreed
  • Identify overlapping/duplicative contract agreements that can be consolidated and increase purchasing power
  • Consistent, centralized tracking of supplier compliance across all contracts and Departments
  • Decrease delays of review/approval access where needed by users external to the Department (e.g. CON, OCA, CMD, other Departments)
  • Consistent release of payments based on supplier compliance
  • Shared Best Practices: Ability for a Department Purchaser to measure purchasing performance against other departments
  • Analyze Insurance Protection across contracts from a single vendor to ensure the City is properly safeguarded against risk
  • Use an existing Contract as a Vehicle for drafting a new contract with similar terms
  • Ability to see what Vendors are charging one department vs. another for similar work

Automated Safeguards

  • Automated workflow requires contract and PO approval by one or more people
  • System setup so users given contract and PO submitter roles are not also the equivalent approver roles (segregation of duties)
  • Security access for PO Creation and PO Approval is limited to a subset of trained procurement users
  • Automated matching of payments to POs and Receipts to ensure goods/services invoiced are the same as negotiated and were delivered

Manual Safeguards

  • Clearly stated policy indicating the terms by which departments can access/use another department’s contract
  • It is incumbent on the approvers of the contract and PO to review the transactions and associated chart fields to confirm the appropriate contract and funding sources are being used
  • Ability to audit submission and approval transactions for user ID and date/time stamp
  • Run Business Intelligence reporting to review transactions against a contract or department