City of Des Moines Selected for Global Procurement Enhancement Program

July 19, 2021
City of Des Moines Selected for Global Procurement Enhancement Program

During a year dominated by the pandemic, it was clear that the current, largely paper-based and closed public procurement systems are not meeting the needs of our time. Public procurement – while critical for providing essential public services like managing health services or floods and buying life-saving goods such as protective equipment – is in urgent need for reform.

The Open Contracting Partnership Lift Accelerator Program is intended to support procurement teams to propel their plans toward system change in expanding economic opportunity through procurement, improving public services and infrastructure and increasing government effectiveness and accountability. The City of Des Moines was chosen among a number of applicants world-wide to participate in the accelerator this next year to reform the city’s public procurement, through better data, open and participatory processes, and technical and financial assistance. 

“We are proud to support these bold frontline innovators who will leverage the untapped power of public procurement to achieve greater social inclusion, increase environmental sustainability, and deliver more equitable government services,” said. Kathrin Frauscher, Deputy Executive Director of the Open Contracting Partnership.

Over the next 18 months, the Open Contracting Partnership will support the selected teams as they open and strengthen their procurement systems and build their team capacity to make procurement more community-centered and effective for all.

Specifically, the City of Des Moines City Manager’s Office and the Division of Finance-Procurement’s project will support sustainability and social equity within their community. It will include reimagining their procurement process and increasing vendor diversity. This project will be implemented in collaboration with key stakeholders from the Iowa Economic Development Authority’s (IEDA) Targeted Small Business (TSB) program, and business development organizations such as the Center for Industrial Research and Services (CIRAS) that assists small business owners with government procurement.

“The Targeted Small Business program has been utilized by state buyers for many years to identify the state’s diverse suppliers, and we encourage municipalities, communities, counties and cities to also embark on establishing supplier diversity goals and creating equitable opportunities for the businesses in their communities to engage in procurement,” said Jill Lippincott, team lead for Innovation and Workforce at the IEDA.
“We are excited for the work ahead,” said Pa Goldbeck, project team lead at the City of Des Moines. “We know it will not only lead to innovative ways to embed sustainability and social equity into our procurement operations, but also result in enhanced vendor experiences when working with the City.”