Procurement is the way governments (either federal, state, or local) purchase products or services from private vendors. These can be something tangible, such as a stoplight or street sweeper, or something intangible, such as consulting services or technology development.
The series of rules and regulations behind procurement were created to promote fairness, prevent unethical behavior, and ensure accountability. But over time, sometimes these policies could work against the very values they were put in place to preserve. The result is that procurement does not always facilitate governments to engage with new companies offering modern technology products and services, missing opportunities for cost savings and innovation.
We're publishing a set of guides, tools and resources to help governments work in the open, proactively publish public data online, and collaborate with the community to help make programs and services better for everyone.
- Procurement 101: Procurement basics.
- How to: Procure Digital Technology: Learn how to structure government procurement practices for digital services and products.
- Tool: SmartProcure: SmartProcure is a service to search vendor lists an prices across municipalities. Whether you're looking for the best price or negotiating best price with a vendor, see what other agencies have paid for the product or service you are interested in buying.
- Template: RFP: Visual Brand Guide for Website Design: This RPF template lays out an agile strategy for the design of a city website in three phases; discovery, design and delivery, including the creation of standardized design elements.
- Template: Professional Services Agreement: Visual Brand Guide for City Website Design: This contract template is for developing a web-appropriate visual identity guide, covering core elements of brand expression online including fonts, colors, iconography, photograph styles for the creation of consistent city websites, this guide contains additional information about the creation of the PSA.
- 2014 Summit Panel: Creating a Greater Choice of Tools: Procurement for the 21st Century
- 2014 Summit Video: Creating a Greater Choice of Tools: Procurement for the 21st Century; Nashville Case Study
- 2013 Summit Video: Clay Johnson: Procurement Impact
- Read: Clay Johnson's Procurement Reform ebook: Clay Johnson, Founder & Chairman, The Department of Better Technology, outlines how to fix government procurement.
- Read: Procurement Thresholds across the US: Code for America has mapped out many municipal procurement thresholds.
- Read: UK's GDS blog post about the G-Cloud: The Government Digital Service in the UK has launched a digital marketplace for technology products, this blog post explains the initiative.
- Watch: Cutting Red Tape, making Local Government Work Better For Business: Stories from some of the White House's Start Up in a Day grant winners about how they are improving government and business interactions.
- Watch: The Top 10 Mistakes Civic Startups Make When Pitching to Government: Somerville Mayor and staff discuss practices, do’s, don’ts, and the how’s of pitching civic tech to governments.