The Council’s Budget Committee met for less than five minutes yesterday morning, which was just enough time to pass two ordinances, one of which establishes new procurement reforms, without any departmental briefings or debate.
Members Present: Chairman Carrie Austin (34), Brian Hopkins (2), Ariel Reboyras (30) [Note: we recorded the meeting but were not present, those three aldermen were the only ones mentioned in the recording of the meeting.]
The intergovernmental agreement the Committee approved implements recommendations from a Procurement Reform Task Force the Mayor formed in 2015 to better coordinate, streamline and increase transparency in how the city and its sister agencies award contracts. Noting that the city and its various sister agencies–the Chicago Park District, Chicago Housing Authority, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Transit Authority, City Colleges of Chicago, and Public Building Commission–award approximately $6 billion in contracts a year, the taskforce sought ways to reduce redundancies by creating a more centralized website to announce bids, take economic disclosure statements, in addition to creating a more uniform system to cut administrative costs. The 52-page report the task force released in November compares in exhaustive detail the procurement process for all city agencies.
The other proposal the committee approved transfers $10,000 to the City Council’s Committee on Education and Childhood Development, Chaired by Ald. Will Burns (4). Since no one testified and no corresponding record number for the ordinance is listed on the agenda, it’s unclear where that money came from or why the transfer was needed.