CfA helps Pittsburgh ease procurement
- By Derek Major
- Nov 09, 2015
Thanks to Code for America fellows, procurement in Pittsburgh is getting a little bit easier.
Starting in February, CfA fellows began meeting with city employees and local businesses to devise applications addressing internal employee and external business needs surrounding the procurement process. Three open source tools emerged:
Beacon is a free service that notifies business owners about city contract opportunities and provides information on how to apply for them. Interested business owners can browse opportunities or subscribe for free email notification of new contracts.
Scout lets staff search and subscribe to contracts that are currently in place, reducing the time it takes them to look up contract information and stay abreast of contract changes when purchasing goods and services. Since its May 2015 launch, employees across the city have subscribed to over 100 different contracts.
Conductor is an internal workflow management tool that tracks contracts through the renewal, bidding and extension processes by connecting and integrating previously separate databases and improving communication throughout the procurement process. Conductor is also tied to both Scout and Beacon. Any changes made to contracts are instantly updated on Scout, and contracts entering the bidding phase can be posted by purchasing agents directly to Beacon.
The CfA code for the Pittsburgh Purchasing Suite can be found on GitHub.
Derek Major is a former reporter for GCN.