Today marks a big win for transparency in Philadelphia City government. Through a collaborative effort between the Procurement Department, the Chief Integrity Officer, and the Office of Innovation and Technology, the City of Philadelphia released data on “Commodities Contracts” (or contracts for supplies, equipment, non-professional services, and public work services.)
This is important. By releasing commodities contract data, the City has successfully released data on all City contracts. (City contracts are broken down into two main categories: “Commodities” and “Professional Services.”) “Commodities” refers to equipment such as office supplies, vehicles, and “non-professional” services like as pest control or janitorial services. “Professional Services” refers to social services, legal services, and consulting, among others.
Professional Services data was released in 2014 and can be found here.
Today’s data release includes a breakdown of contract dollars by vendor, department, and service type. It also includes a list of expiring contracts, making the data not only valuable in the interest of government openness but in how it empowers a larger pool of vendors to do business with the City. Although not all expiring contracts will bid out again, the list could make vendors aware of potential, upcoming opportunities.
As with most of the City’s recent data releases, the commodities contract data is accompanied by visualizations, including a pie chart of the “Top 10 Contracts by Vendor” by the most recent fiscal quarter. This data dates back to July 1, 2013 (Fiscal Year 2014) and will be refreshed quarterly moving forward.
You can view, download, and read more about the commodities contract data here. Please let us know what you think!