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Inclusive Procurement Reform in Long Beach, CA (RDC7) 

02-29-2024 09:37 AM

WWC is highlighting the Economic Mobility Catalog (EMC) to make this information more readily accessible to our community. The EMC was created to help local government leaders identify and implement evidence-based strategies to advance economic mobility in their communities. The Economic Mobility Catalog contains summaries of over 50 high-level strategies and nearly 200 specific practices and programs that have demonstrated positive results in rigorous evaluations. The WWC team has taken the time to identify interesting case studies we believe this WWC Community would be interested in exploring further. You will also note that each case study showcased here has been mapped to the WWC Standard so you don't have to guess!

Overview:

Procurement has been a long-time point of concern for Long Beach. Similar to many cities, the public procurement system was difficult for both vendors and city staff to manage and could not provide actionable data on how the City was engaging vendors, particularly local and minority-owned businesses. While the City had implemented small changes to procurement since 2015, the system needed a complete overhaul to achieve Long Beach’s economic inclusion and racial equity goals.

In 2020, the city of Long Beach collaborated with Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab to implement significant changes to its procurement process. The changes consisted of reforms to procurement practices, proposal solicitation processes, staff training protocols, and vendor procurement practices while centering efforts around efficiency and equity.

Once the city decided to engage in a full procurement system overhaul, there were four main areas of implementation. 1.) Developing tools and templates, 2.) Forecasting procurement needs, 3.) Gathering vendor feedback, and 4.) Building relationships with minority businesses and nonprofits.

Relevant WWC Criteria:

Open and Shared Procurement Data (RDC 7)

Your local government embeds opening and sharing data throughout the entire procurement process lifecycle in order to increase bid competitiveness and strengthen procurement transparency and accountability.

Connection to the WWC Criterion:

Long Beach's procurement overhaul aligned with the WWC criteria "Open and Shared Procurement Data" RDC7. The criteria states, "Your local government embeds opening and sharing data throughout the entire procurement process lifecycle in order to increase bid competitiveness and strengthen procurement transparency and accountability". One key component to Long Beach achieving this criteria was engaging with local and minority-owned businesses. This effort allowed minority businesses and CBOs to join the vendor pool and better navigate the process of being considered for contracts. Business navigators (contracted by the Economic Development Department) became trusted liaisons for minority-owned businesses that could receive ongoing assistance with the solicitation.

Long Beach's inclusive procurement reform is a strong example of how any city can improve its procurement departments to make data more open to vendors. To learn more, read the full case study on the Results For America Economic Mobility Catalog.

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