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November 05, 2016

Councilman introduces bill to alter Philly's procurement policy

Reform would allow city to get 'best bang for its buck'

Contracts City Council
Philadelphia City Hall Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Philadelphia City Hall

Philadelphia City Council members will consider a bill that will give the city's procurement department more leeway when awarding contracts.

Councilman Bobby Henon introduced Thursday a package of bills aimed to modernize the city's procurement policy, allowing the city to get "the best bang for its buck."

Under the Philadelphia City Charter, the current system mandates that contracts be awarded to the lowest responsible bidder. Henon's bills call for a "best value" method that would allow other criteria to be factored in the decision.

“Best value procurement is more modern and considered to be a best practice in procurement across the country," Henon said. "Weighting past performance, including whether a vendor completed a project on-time and on-budget, among other factors like cost, schedule and [minority, women-owned and disadvantaged businesses enterprises] participation."

Five other council members have co-sponsored the legislation, which was also crafted with the help of Mayor Jim Kenney's administration.

Another bill would establish terms and conditions related to contracts would be awarded under the best value provision.

If the package of bills is passed, a ballot question would appear in May 2017 for approval by the voters.