For Immediate Release: September 29, 2021
LOS ANGELES -- Yesterday, Councilmember Nithya Raman introduced a motion to create a permanent Office of Procurement for the City of Los Angeles that can bring greater transparency, strategy, and accountability to the City’s contracting with goods and service providers. Los Angeles is currently one of the only major cities in the world with a decentralized procurement system.
The City of Los Angeles spends approximately $4.5 billion annually on procuring goods, services and construction, making it one of the largest economic drivers in the region. As it stands, this purchasing power is dispersed among individual departments. This means that the City has no central authority for ensuring its money is spent in accordance with social and environmental policy priorities.
“Procurement is not just an economic issue. It’s a social justice issue,” said Councilmember Raman. “We need to reform the city’s system for purchasing goods and services in order to ensure we are buying from more women-owned and minority-owned businesses, small and local businesses, and businesses modeling high environmental standards. The city is a massive organization and we can make a real difference with our dollars.”
This motion proposes establishing a permanent Office of Procurement within the office of the City Administrative Officer. It sets forth a plan for giving the Office of Procurement, led by the Chief Procurement Officer, oversight and accountability over procurement while also charging the office with developing a comprehensive Procurement Policy Strategy to link the City’s spending on goods and services with broader policy priorities.
“We want to create a permanent home for a Chief Procurement Officer who is responsible for ensuring the City is using procurement as a tool to accomplish our most ambitious social, equity and environmental goals,” emphasized Councilmember Raman.