Philadelphia has received national recognition from the Public Technology Institute (PTI) for its implementation of a Minority, Women and Disabled-Owned Business Enterprise (M/W/DSBE) Registry and Contract Compliance Reporting System (CCRS). PTI awarded the City with a Significant Achievement in the 2013-2014 Technology Solutions Awards Competition. Philadelphia was the only county in Pennsylvania recognized this year.
The Registry and CCRS, running on cloud software developed and hosted by Phoenix, Arizona-based B2Gnow and brokered to the City through the Office of Innovation and Technology (OIT), has enabled the City’s Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) to transform its business through data-driven performance management. The system provides a critical new capability, presenting the City’s purchasing and payment data to directly engage the vendor community in facilitating compliance with contract goals for M/W/DSBE participation.
The new system addresses a long-standing concern in the City. For decades Philadelphia has been working to improve participation by minority, women and disabled-owned businesses on its contracts. This stems from recognition among City leadership that enabling disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs) to better compete for contracting opportunities benefits both the business community and the City. Most recently, OEO has driven this initiative, and in doing so has taken on the challenge of adopting more effective practices. Its legacy processes proved inefficient for its budget-constrained staff:
- a paper-based, manual process for applying to the City’s OEO registry that was a burden to staff and contractors
- a process for tracking contract participation and investigating contract disputes that involved logging into at least three disparate systems just to gather background information
- a manual, spreadsheet-based process for generating required reports that could show contract awards to M/W/DSBE’s, but could not provide insight into actual dollars paid to them
The Registry and CCRS implementation introduced solutions that will dramatically improve each of these processes. The software includes web-based registry application submission and search, back-office workflow, and an integrated database containing:
- data about contracts from the City’s three procurement and contract management systems
- data about payments against City contracts from the City’s legacy accounting system
The project brought together City OIT, OEO, Procurement and Finance departments to develop the interfaces with City systems and coordinate the transition to new business processes. What they accomplished represents a landmark effort, and one that will support not just OEO but also future initiatives to improve the City’s Procurement and Finance operations and transparency. The Registry and CCRS is now at the center of OEO’s new operating model, providing information and tools to drive Philadelphia’s M/W/DSBE participation compliance improvement initiative. The system’s built-in metrics and dashboards have already proven their value, simplifying the reporting process and alerting managers with accurate information to facilitate decisions.
A huge thanks goes out to all those who have contributed to the project’s success, and continue to help the effort move forward!
- Angela Dowd-Burton, Executive Director, OEO, Commerce – Project Sponsor
- Joyce Strother, OEO, Commerce – Project Manager
- Alice Dungee-James, OEO, Commerce
- LaShawnda Tompkins, OEO, Commerce
- Scott Stricker, OIT – Project Manager
- Shonique McCall, OIT – Project Manager
- David Mauro, OIT – Lead Technical Architect and Developer
- Hugh Ortman, Commissioner, Procurement
- Trevor Day, Deputy Commissioner, Procurement
- Stephanie Tipton, Deputy Chief Integrity Officer
- Mary Stitt, Chief of Staff, Managing Director’s Office
- T. David Williams, Deputy Director, Finance
- Drew Menten, Contract Management Analyst, Finance
- Dan McKenzie, Finance Developer, Information Services Partner, Inc.
- David Wilson, 1st Deputy Managing Director – Project Executive