2015 Fellowship in Pittsburgh

The ways in which governments buy what they need is a fundamental part of how they function. Improving procurement requires addressing the basics, which carries implications for the ways governments provide quality service to their citizens. 

Businesses interested in working with the City of Pittsburgh could not easily access information about opportunities. They could search the classifieds section of local newspapers, navigate the Office of Management and Budget's website, or visit the Pennsylvania Purchasing Group's website. Opportunities posted were not comprehensive or were hidden behind a lengthy sign-up process. 

Oftentimes few if any businesses respond to city solicitations. The less businesses that compete for city work, the less public procurement functions like an actual market. City departments then end up paying higher prices for lower quality services when they have fewer options to choose from. 

In partnership with the City of Pittsburgh’s Office of Innovation and Performance, the 2015 Code for America built the Pittsburgh Procurement Suite, a set of three web apps that helped open up purchasing data, increase internal communication between staff, and engage businesses interested in working with the city. 

Connected by an open database, these tools enable city staff to transparently and efficiently manage, track, and advertise contract opportunities.

Focus Area


Products and how-to's

The team

Ben Smithgall

2015 Fellow, Code for America

Shelly Ni

Pittsburgh Team, Code for America

Patrick Hammons

Pittsburgh Team, Code for America

Laura Meixell

Analytics and Strategy Manager, City of Pittsburgh

Related videos

21st Procurement in Pittsburgh

How Pittsburgh made it easier for local businesses to bid on city projects.​

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2015 Summit

Ben Smithgall

Laura Meixell

Shelly Ni

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Pittsburgh Launches App to Bring Procurement into the 21st Century

How Pittsburgh makes procurement more customer focused with Code for America fellows.

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The City of Pittsburgh 2015: The Year of Procurement

Pittsburgh brings procurement into the 21st century

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Recommended reads

Press clips

Pittsburgh procurement process improvements created through Code For America partnership

Following an in-depth analysis, the fellows have launched 3 digital tools to streamline and open up Pittsburgh’s procurement process.

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I am honored and excited that Pittsburgh is joining with Code for America to build the city's reputation for innovation and transparency. We look forward to working in particular on new approaches to procurement that drive increased community participation, and in so doing, build the digital capabilities of our great city. I know the Fellows can learn from us -- and us from them -- as we work together to make government better for city residents.

— William Peduto, Mayor, City of Pittsburgh

Want to make change in your government?

We’ll pair you with a team who will not only build the app your users need, but change how your organization thinks about technology.

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