City council passed a bill to create more oversight of Pittsburgh’s contracts with private vendors

City Council Chamber. On Tuesday, council members passed a measure that would add more oversight to the city’s RFP process. (Photo by J. Dale Shoemaker/PublicSource)

Even though several details have not been decided, Pittsburgh City Council voted on Tuesday to pass a bill that creates another measure of oversight on how the city handles requests for proposals [RFPs].
The RFP process begins when city departments have a need for a product or service and write a formal description of it to distribute to vendors. Once vendors respond, the city vets the bids and then makes a selection based on getting the best price and value for what is needed.
Three council members sponsored the bill, which was written and introduced in the wake of a lawsuitand a PublicSource investigation that highlighted concerns regarding the city’s relationship with B-Three Solutions. The news stories and lawsuit revealed that much of B-Three’s work had not gone through the RFP process, despite the company doing at least $4 million in business with the city since 2006. The contractor has built software for multiple city departments, but most notably for the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police.


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