Progress Report on the Procurement Reform Task Force

On May 27, 2015, Mayor Rahm Emanuel convened the Chicago Procurement Reform Task Force (PRTF). PRTF was co-chaired by the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) and the Inspector General (OIG) for the City of the Chicago, and included the CEO, Executive Director, or Chancellor of six of the City’s sister agencies: the Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), the Chicago Housing Authority (CHA), the City Colleges of Chicago (CCC), the Chicago Park District (Parks), and the Public Building Commission (PBC). PRTF undertook a six-month project to identify opportunities for these entities (collectively, the Participating Members) to implement, in a uniform manner, best practices for awarding, managing, and overseeing public contracts. The Task Force’s mission was to maximize operational efficiency, increase accountability, and economize public funds.

On November 17, 2015, PRTF reported its findings, grouped into five categories representing essential principles of government procurement: competition, efficiency, transparency, integrity, and uniformity. The Task Force also made recommendations designed to advance these principles, a 31-point blueprint for refining and standardizing the Participating Members’ procurement operations. The recommendations in the 2015 Report of the Chicago Procurement Reform Task Force (2015 PRTF Report) fall into three categories: the first 15 were proposed for immediate implementation, i.e., by the end of March 2016; the next 12 for “mid-term” implementation, i.e., by the end of December 2016; and last 4 for “long-term” implementation, i.e., in “2017 and beyond.”

Pursuant to an intergovernmental agreement executed under the authority of an ordinance passed by City Council and approved by the Mayor in January 2016, the Participating Members fulfilled PRTF’s Recommendation #1 by creating a committee of CPOs (CPO Committee), and charging it with addressing the Task Force’s recommendations, tracking their implementation, and issuing quarterly and annual reports. The ordinance also directed the Participating Members to begin work on Recommendation #5 by establishing a committee of Chief Information Officers (the Chicago Government IT Coordination Committee, or ITCC) to manage the technical aspects of the implementation process, and directed OIG to prepare and publish, within 90 days following the issuance of each CPO Committee Annual Report, an independent evaluation of the Participating Members’ progress toward implementing the recommendations.

On March 1, 2017, the CPO Committee issued the 2016 Annual Report of the Chicago Procurement Reform Task Force (2016 Annual Report), which demonstrates that while the Participating Members have not strictly complied with the implementation timetable agreed to in the 2015 PRTF Report, they have made significant progress toward achieving its goals. OIG’s independent review confirms this assessment.