D.C. mayor, city council battle over transparency in procurement reform

Dueling proposals to overhaul the procurement process in Washington, D.C., are creating friction between the city council and Mayor Muriel Bowser’s administration.

The council is currently reviewing a pair of bills focused on procurement, but each contains very different provisions that could have major implications for hefty IT contracts and the city’s public database of procurement documents.

At issue is how best to balance the need for openness and efficacy. A bill backed by Council Chairman Phil Mendelsohn is aimed at increasing the council’s oversight of contracts and opening up more data about the procurement process to public scrutiny in an online database. Bowser’s proposal would limit legislative oversight in select scenarios in an effort to improve efficiency. Continue…