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Procurement Annual Report 2019-2020

This is the Annual Report for Procurement Services for the 2020 Fiscal Year, which begins July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. Procurement Services established goals for our internal organization, equity in contracting, construction workforce development, and sustainable procurement.
In this article


This is the Chief Procurement Officer's introduction of the Procurement Annual Report Fiscal Year 2019-20.

Executive Summary 

Procurement Services made progress toward internal organizational goalsequity in contracting goals, construction workforce development goals, and sustainable procurement goals during the 2020 Fiscal Year, which begins July 1, 2019 thru June 30, 2020. The internal organizational goals were a continued effort from the prior year (i.e., FY 2018) which included an organizational assessment that took in feedback and recommendations from Bureau staff, Procurement staff, and the contracting community. Those internal goals include:

  • Increasing staffing levels to meet requirements commensurate with the expansion of contracting volumes in the City
  • Streamlining procurement processes and increasing efficiency where possible 
  • Making procurement processes more transparent

Procurement made significant progress towards these internal organizational goals during the 2020 Fiscal Year by accomplishing the following.

  1. Procurement implemented a new funding model, which redesigned the organization across six (6) teams: Design, Construction, Goods, Services, Compliance and Operations; created nine (9) new staff positions; and recruited and on-boarded staff into those nine positions.
  2. Procurement improved processes and outcomes regarding excessive insurance requirements and lengthy insurance wait times through process improvements and increased efficiencies implemented by the new Contractual Risk Manager position. 
  3. Procurement increased efficiency and transparency in the procurement process by:
    • Developing internal Project Tracking Reports with real-time data so that Bureau project managers can track the progress of their Procurement projects.
    • Meeting regularly with Bureau customers
    • Developing Service Level Agreements (SLAs) to measure and report on the life cycle of procurement projects. We used the ability to track projects to pinpoint areas where time can be shortened, increasing transparency and efficiency.
  4. Procurement worked with bureau customers and City Council to adopt City Code changes that increased efficiency and facilitated improved equity outcomes. Some noteworthy changes include:
    • Reassigning signature authority for intergovernmental agreements and revising signature authority for emergency procurements from the Chief Procurement Officer to Bureau Directors;
    • Adding an unsolicited proposal policy to increase transparency while facilitating innovation;
    • Expanding direct contracting opportunities to Goods+Services and increasing thresholds from $100K to $150K;
    • Changing prequalification requirements to reduce barriers for firms and increase equity. 

Alongside our internal organizational goals, Procurement also has equity in contracting and workforce goals. Many of these programs and goals were established by City Council via resolution 36944 in July 2012. It is important to understand that this 2012 resolution implemented a race- and gender-neutral framework that seeks to achieve equity in contracting for women and communities of color by increasing opportunity for all COBID-certified firms (a designation that includes firms owned by women and people of color, but also Emerging Small Businesses which are typically owned by white males). It is therefore not entirely surprising that the City’s Social Equity in Contracting programs show a mix of results as it pertains specifically to outcomes for people of color and women. On one hand, there are successes:

  • 39% of construction contracts and 37% of professional services contracts were awarded to businesses owned by women and people of color over the past five fiscal years
  • 34% of construction and professional services subcontracted dollars have been awarded to firms owned by people of color over the past two fiscal years
  • 28% of the workers on City construction projects over the past three fiscal years were people of color, as compared to a goal of 20% in the Workforce Training & Hiring Program

On the other hand, the City has not met all its social equity in contracting goals and in cases where goals do not exist, some indicators show substantial disparities in the participation of women and people of color in City contracting opportunities. For instance:

  • Only 3% of Goods & Services contract awards were made to businesses owned by women and people of color over the past five fiscal years.
  • For construction projects completed in the past two years, the Subcontractor Equity Program saw 12.8% of hard construction costs paid to subcontractors owned by women and people of color, as compared to a goal of 14%
  • The Workforce Training & Hiring Program saw 7.6% female worker participation on City construction projects over the past three fiscal years, as compared to a 9% goal.

The current City Council and community at-large are increasingly clear that they want outcomes for Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) first and foremost; that to see City programs extend opportunity to white male-owned COBID-certified firms (i.e., emerging small businesses) is unacceptable; and that white woman-owned businesses should not receive disproportionate benefits from these programs. At the same time, the aforementioned race- and gender-neutral framework of the existing policy is not optimally aligned with these goals, since it extends opportunities to all COBID-certified firms and imposes few ramifications for contractors that fail to meet aspirational goals. 

Lastly, Procurement Services at the City of Portland continues to be a leader in sustainable procurement through our role as the lead agency in developing the Clean Air Construction (CAC) Program. In this role during the 2020 Fiscal Year, we continued to support the implementation of CAC requirements across all partner agencies, which included developing the core program elements, budget, and the intergovernmental agreement that serves as the foundation of how partner agencies will share responsibilities and costs for the CAC Program. 

One final mention of the work completed in the 2020 Fiscal Year by Procurement staff includes our response to COVID-19, during which we stayed operational to continue to support community and bureau customers' needs. In these efforts, we deployed three staff members to the Emergency Coordination Center to provide expertise to the City's emergency response. They were crucial in procuring personal protective equipment (PPE); gift cards for rent assistance; quarantine rooms in case City staff were exposed to COVID-19 through their work; distribution of over a million meals; and a way for houseless people to continue to return recyclables for money, since the usual centers at grocery stores had closed during the Shutdown. Staff also worked with non-profit organizations in our local communities to procure emergency response services such as food security and household support services.

Procurement staff executed 44% more contract dollars than average for the months between March thru June. At the same time, Procurement executed 9% fewer contracts than the average. Overall, the division's efforts are still notable, considering that staff was able in maintain the smooth functioning of City procurement despite the sudden shift to a full-time remote work model.

Looking ahead to FY 2020-21 and beyond, Procurement Services will continue to work to achieve these key global organizational goals:

  1. Continue to Improve Outcomes in Social Equity in Contracting Policy & Programs. It will not be simple to bring the existing policy framework into closer alignment with the aforementioned specific goals Council and the community seek. These challenges are described in more detail below under “Social Equity in Contracting”. That said, Procurement Services is committed to partnering with City Council, the Fair Contracting Forum, bureau stakeholders and the community at-large to refine existing policies and programs and to establish new ones in order to continue to progress towards achieving equitable results for communities of color and women in City contracting opportunities. Additionally, the Division intends to improve data collection processes such that disaggregated data is available for all procurements and to improve transparency by publishing disaggregated equity outcome data dashboards on a routine basis.
  2. Continue to Improve the Functioning of the City's Procurement Business Processes. City Council and bureaus - BES, Water, PBOT, Parks and OMF Facilities in particular - made a financial investment in FY 2018-19 that increased staffing in Procurement Services by nearly 20%. This was necessary to "catch up" the Division's staffing levels to meet the needs of bureaus that have expanded greatly over the past decade. Over the next fiscal year, Procurement Services intends to continue to prove that this was a worthwhile investment by continuing to improve the level and quality of service through engagement, transparency, innovation and process improvement.


What Is Procurement?

Annual reports provide a moment to share the challenges faced and opportunities presented to us in the last fiscal year, July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020. To provide context for those challenges and opportunities, it would be helpful to first describe Procurement’s role at the City of Portland.

Procurement is a division within the Bureau of Revenue and Financial Services (BRFS), which is housed under the Office of Management and Finance (OMF). BRFS is the primary owner of the process for purchasing commodities and services – from identifying an effective procurement strategy to ushering the payment through financial rules and processes.

Infographic of an organizational chart showing Additional Programs, Goods+Services and Design+Construction is positioned under the Chief Procurement Officer, which is under Procurement Services, which is under the Bureau of Revenue and Financial Services, and which is positioned under the Mayor’s Office.

Procurement staff is responsible for ensuring that procurement processes are fair, transparent, and comply with all federal, state, and local requirements. Procurement also provides leadership, policy development, compliance, oversight and management of the City’s contracting processes; and executes and assists in strategies to promote sustainable practices, increase the capacity of COBID-certified businesses, and diversify the workforce on City construction projects. COBID stands for Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity, a State of Oregon office. 

How Does The Procurement Process Work?

Needs arise in City Bureaus, which require us to purchase goods and services. If the procurement is small, bureaus can make the purchase on their own. For larger projects, project managers must interact with Central Procurement Services. Procurement staff help apply and implement a complex array of procurement techniques, policies, and practices that can include:

  • Co-developing contract specifications
  • Writing solicitation requirements
  • Managing bidding processes
  • Overseeing evaluation committees
  • Negotiating and writing contracts and terms and conditions.

Procurement staff complete all these steps while maintaining proper documentation, meeting transparency requirements, adhering to legal requirements, and collaborating with other City offices and bureaus such as the City Attorney’s Office, Risk Management, and the Bureau of Technology Services.

Infographic showing the relationships among Central Procurement Services, Bureau Procurement processes, and Central Accounting from the time a need arises through to when the procurement is complete, and the invoice is paid in full.
This chart illustrates the possible touchpoints between bureau and work done by Procurement Services and Accounts Payable. Source: “Procure-To-Pay (P2P) Discovery: Current State Process Mapping” by Lisa Dennis 

Additionally, Procurement Services ensures compliance with numerous City programs and contracting requirements. The most robust of these compliance efforts are focused on working with prime contracts on City construction projects to achieve equitable outcomes in subcontracting.

Procurement Services Organizational Assessment and OMF Internal Services Funding Methodology Review

To understand Procurement’s accomplishments from the past year, one needs to consider the organizational assessment that Procurement underwent through most of 2018. The assessment found that although procurement volumes had increased significantly, more than doubling from $210MM in Fiscal Year 2013-14 to $468MM in Fiscal Year 2016-17, Procurement had only increased their staffing by one full time position (FTE). It also found that some of the Division’s processes were confusing or convoluted, and that bureaus needed more training and understanding of the procurement process.

Overall, the assessment echoed the Office of Management and Finance’s 2017 Internal Services Funding Methodology Review that Procurement Services was “not equipped to meet growing customer demands.”

A column chart showing an increase in Procurement contract volume in dollars overlaid with a line chart corresponding with Procurement Positions for each Fiscal Year between FY2014 thru FY2017.
Procurement volumes increased significantly 2013 to 2017, more than doubling from $210MM to $468MM, while Procurement staffing levels remained the same. This trend figured substantially into City Council's decision to create nine new positions in the Procurement Services division effective February 2018.

Taking in the feedback and recommendations from Bureau staff, the contracting community and the organizational assessment, Procurement Services has since worked towards:

  • Increasing staff
  • Streamlining procurement processes and increasing efficiency where possible; and
  • Making procurement processes more transparent.

What Changed? 

Our Funding Model

Procurement Services worked closely with the five infrastructure bureaus (i.e., Environmental Services, OMF Facilities, Parks & Recreation, Transportation, and Water), to develop a new funding model. The funding change allowed us to redesign our organizational structure and increase procurement staff. The most significant organizational change has been the creation of a Design+Construction team that supports infrastructure bureau projects. This new funding model removed Design+Construction from the general fund, which is important for several key reasons:

  • Design+Construction projects come almost exclusively from the infrastructure bureaus. This means that under the prior funding model, other bureaus effectively subsidized those infrastructure bureau projects.
  • General Fund resources are often strained; removing Design+Construction services from the General Fund overhead model decreases pressure on the General Fund.
  • The infrastructure bureaus indicated willingness to increase their financial support of Procurement in exchange for improved Design+Construction services.

Our Organizational Structure

Supported by the new funding model, Procurement redesigned the organization. Core procurement activities were allocated across four functional teams – Design, Construction, Goods and Services – and compliance functions were consolidated into a single team. In all, this reorganization created nine new positions, eight of which were allocated to the aforementioned teams. The ninth was a Contractual Risk Program Manager, created to improve processes and outcomes in response to bureau customer and contractor concerns regarding excessive insurance requirements and lengthy insurance review wait times.

Since January 2019 through June 2020, Procurement Services had filled 22 positions – no small feat for a division made up of 49 positions. The 22 positions include the nine new positions as well as various vacancies resulting from staff turnover. 

Increasing Transparency & Efficiency in the Procurement Process 

When we set up the new funding model and organizational structure, we did so with the promise of making the procurement process more transparent and efficient. To do that, we needed first an ability to track the life cycle of procurement projects, showing current processes and their associated timeframes. This included implementing standard operating procedures to record and gather data at specific milestones during the procurement process. We developed internal Project Tracking Reports with real-time data so that Bureau project managers could track the progress of their procurement projects. The reports along with regular bureau customer meetings with the Procurement Leadership Team increased transparency of the procurement process.

Second, we used the ability to measure and report on the life cycle of procurement projects to develop performance targets called Service Level Agreements (SLAs). SLAs are commitments that Procurement makes to City Bureaus to complete procurement projects within a set time frame. In July 2019, Procurement published our first SLA dashboard that captured project cycle times of five high-use procurement types.

Third, we used our new tracking ability to pinpoint areas where time can be shortened; thus, increasing efficiency, which resulted in time and cost savings for both Procurement and bureau customers. Those improvement areas include:

  • Technological improvements that allowed us to discontinue several forms and simplify the way bureaus initiate procurements and the way vendors and contractors submit solicitations.
  • A new public-facing Procurement Services website that makes the procurement process more transparent to vendors and contractors, including a new Vendor/Contractor Handbook.
  • Revamped trainings for Project Managers that correspond to our new organizational structure.

Portland City Code

Portland City Code 5.33 Goods+Services, 5.34 Public Improvements and Construction Services, and 5.68 Professional Services establishes the governance, processes and procedures that guide Procurement Services’ oversight in procuring and contracting. As chapters of City Code do not change very frequently, it’s noteworthy that we were able to review and update City Code for the first time in over a decade to make our systems more efficient.

To begin, we engaged our bureau customers to identify opportunities for efficiency and/or to increase equity outcomes through our procurement and contracting operations. The most noteworthy of these City Code changes include:

  • Reassigning signature authority for intergovernmental agreements from the Chief Procurement Officer to Bureau Directors and increasing their purchasing power from $5,000 to $50,000.
  • Revising authority for emergency procurements for the Chief Procurement Officer and Bureau Directors.
  • Adding performing artists and honoraria to the list of Council approved special procurement exemptions.
  • Adding an unsolicited proposal policy.
  • Increasing direct contracting authority for State certified firms from $100,000 to $150,000 and to adding direct contracting authority to City Code, Chapter 5.33 Goods+Services. With this change, there will be significantly more opportunities for bureaus to engage State certified firms for direct contracting. 
  • Changes to prequalification requirements reduce barriers for firms and increase equity. We changed the Prequalification threshold from $250,000 to $500,000 and exempted contractors enrolled in the Prime Contractor Development Program from having to maintain a prequalification application with the City.

For more comprehensive information about all the procurement code changes that went into effect during FY 2019-20 and during the beginning FY 2020-21 see this reference sheet.

Procurement: Working for the Residents of Portland and Bureau Customers

Procurement Workload & Performance

Workload Metrics

When compared to prior years, the total amount of contracts awarded increased dramatically due to a five-year, $400MM contract with Moda Health. Without including the Moda Health contract, the 2020 Fiscal Year saw awarded contract dollars comparable to prior years. 

Stacked column chart of Procurement Volumes (contracts awarded by type in dollars) showing each fiscal year between FY2016 thru FY2020. The procurement type here refers to Construction, Professional Services, or Goods+Services.
An average of nearly $500MM and 1150 contracts, purchase orders and task orders are executed by Procurement Services each fiscal year. These procurements facilitate a wide array of goods and services for the benefit of the residents of Portland. 
Stacked column chart of Procurement Volumes (contracts awarded by type in number of contracts) showing each fiscal year between FY2016 thru FY2020. The procurement type here refers to Construction, Professional Services, or Goods+Services.
During FY 2019-20, Procurement Services awarded 1,140 contracts, purchase orders, task orders and amendments, 53 more than the previous year.

Service Level Agreements

Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are performance targets measured by how long procurement projects take to complete from beginning to end. The goal is to give bureau customers the ability to properly assess their project timelines and provide ourselves with additional procurement performance measures. SLAs provide transparency and accountability with the goal of increasing efficiency. The chart below provides our target timeline in days by procurement type.

Our goal is to complete procurement projects within the number of days in the “SLA Target Days” column. We aim to do this at least 90% of the time for all procurement types except for Professional Services Sole Source, which is set at 85%. The chart below compares our SLA performance between FY 2020 and FY 2019.

Infographic comparing Service Level Agreement performance of 9 different Procurement Types between FY 2019 and FY 2020, with a summary at the bottom. Performance that did not meet the target is highlighted in red while those that did is heighted in green. In FY 2019, 2 are in red. In FY 2020, 4 are in red.
The SLA's for FY 19 includes 686 total projects, of which 49 or 7% did not meet the target. The SLA's for FY 20 includes 633 total projects, of which 59 (9%) did not meet the target; this represents a 2% increase over the previous year.

While we are pleased to see significant improvements in Construction Invitation to Bid (ITB) and steady performance for Goods+Services Cooperative and ITB and Professional Services Direct. The division expected to see a lag in performance for the other procurement types due to staff hiring, onboarding and additional process changes. During the upcoming fiscal year, we expect to be nearly fully staffed (assuming some level of turnover will always produce a certain level of vacancy). Additionally, we expect to be settled into the process improvements that took effect this last year. As we look towards Fiscal Year 2021, we expect performance relative to the SLA targets to improve.

Procurement Card Program

The Procurement Card Program allows for the purchases of Goods+Services up to $10,000 (with some exceptions) and provides the City an avenue to make purchases without a contract or purchase order. The program has existed for over fifteen years and has steadily grown. Late in the fiscal year, the we had a change in the normal operations of the City due to COVID-19 emergency, which shut down a number of City programs. This resulted in temporary spending reductions, which led to a significant decrease in the number of Procurement Card transactions and spend compared to previous years. 

Infographic of the Procurement Card Program over three fiscal years: FY 2018, FY 2019, and FY 2020, comparing number of transactions, money spent, and number of P-Cardholders.
In FY 2019-20, Procurement Cardholders spent approximately $1.2MM less compared to the previous year. The number of transactions declined by 11k. In the last four months of FY 2019-20, the number of transactions decreased significantly given the spending slowdown that resulted from the COVID-19 emergency.

Clean Air Construction

Since 2016, Procurement Services has been working with partner public agencies to develop a procurement-based approach to reducing harmful diesel particulate matter emissions in the Portland Metro Area. One key result of this collaboration is the Clean Air Construction Standard, passed by City Council in December 2018, which requires cleaner diesel (or alternative fuel) nonroad construction equipment and on-road dump trucks and concrete mixers on City-solicited construction projects. The same Clean Air Standard has been, or is being adopted by, partner agencies including Metro, Washington County, Port of Portland, and Multnomah County. By adopting the same Clean Air Construction requirements and creating a regional implementation approach, we avoid creating multiple (and potentially conflicting) requirements and we reduce contractors’ administrative burden in demonstrating compliance with these requirements. We also avoid duplicative administrative costs and processes among the partner agencies. 

In FY 2019-20 Procurement Services kept its role as the lead agency in developing the regional Clean Air Construction (CAC) Program that will support the implementation of the CAC requirements across all partner agencies. During this time, we developed the core program elements, budget, and the intergovernmental agreement that serves as the foundation for how partner agencies will share responsibilities and costs for the CAC Program. In April 2020, Procurement Services launched the start of our CAC-related technical assistance to COBID-certified construction firms, providing on-site assistance to help these firms assess their fleets and understand options for meeting the CAC engine requirements set to take effect in 2021. COBID stands for Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity, a State of Oregon office. In May 2020, we released a Request for Proposals to develop an online CAC registration and compliance system, which will be the key tool for tracking compliance against the CAC requirements and associated progress in reducing diesel particulate matter emissions. 

Why Diesel PM? And Why Diesel Construction Equipment? 

Portland Metro Area map highlighted in variations of red to illustrate a high level of diesel particulate matter in the City.
Average diesel particulate matter levels need to be reduced by 86% across the Portland Metro area to meet the State's adopted health benchmark. (Source: EPA 2017 Portland Air Toxics Study)
A bar graph of diesel particulate emissions in Portland with "Onroad heavy duty equipment" accounting for 50%.
38% of diesel particulate matter in the Portland area is emitted from nonroad equipment such as construction equipment. Diesel Particulate Matter (2.5) Sources in Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington Counties. (Source: EPA 2017 National Emissions Inventory Data)

Social Equity in Contracting

The City of Portland seeks to increase the diversity of the contractors with which it works and to administer contracting opportunities equitably across the community it serves. In 2012, City Council established a number of Social Equity in Contracting programs intended primarily to increase the City’s utilization of firms owned by women and people of color, and the proportion of women and people of color employed on City construction projects. This followed a 2009 disparity study (i.e., a study that assesses the extent to which regional inequities exist in public procurement and contracting) that failed to find statistically significant disparities in the utilization of businesses owned by people of color and women. Although members of the community questioned the study's process and results, City Council ultimately chose to adopt a race- and gender-neutral Social Equity in Contracting policy rather than risk lawsuit by implementing a program with hard race- and gender-specific targets.

This race- and gender-neutral policy framework adopted by Council is what guides the City's Social Equity in Contracting programs today. It relies on two overarching features to increase racial and gender equity in construction contracting and workforce as well as professional services contracting. The first feature is aspirational goals established with the contractor; these goals can be specific to different demographics and the City can affirmatively encourage contractors to achieve them, but ultimately these goals cannot often be enforced. The second feature is a focus on increasing utilization of firms certified by the State of Oregon COBID office; COBID-certified firms include businesses owned by people of color and women, but also include Emerging Small Businesses which are typically owned by white males. Both these features limit the City's ability to focus solely on achieving specific demographic targets.

The programs implemented under this policy are described below in more detail. When evaluating the City's programs and results in social equity in contracting, it is also important to understand not only the aforementioned policy features and limitations, but also that the City's social equity in contracting programs, requirements and investments are unevenly distributed across the three major procurement types (i.e., Construction, Professional Services and Goods+Services). Construction contracting includes the most equity features, followed by Professional Services and then Goods+Services. As a result, the City's most significant positive equity outcomes in the City's business and workforce utilization can be seen in Construction, followed by Professional Services, with Goods+Services a distant third.

Column chart of Procurement Volumes by percentage of dollars awarded to Disadvantaged, Minority, and/or Women-Owned Business Enterprises) showing each fiscal year between FY2016 thru FY2020. The chart shows the information by Construction, Professional Services, and Goods+Services.
The City's Social Equity in Contracting policy - which emphasizes the utilization of COBID-certified firms - has been successful in increasing COBID-certified firm utilization, most notably in Construction and Professional Services where specific programs and requirements exist to achieve this goal. It is necessary, however, to disaggregate the data - as seen later in this report - to understand the extent to which these successes are and aren't experienced by communities of color and by women.
Image shows list of programs by procurement type: Construction, Professional Services, and Goods+Services.
Of the social equity in contracting programs that have been created by City Council and the Procurement Services division, eight apply to Construction contracting compared to only two programs respectively in Professional Services and Goods+Services.

Overall, three major themes emerge when reviewing the outcomes for the various social equity in contracting programs described below:

  1. The City's race- and gender-neutral social equity programs have had some success in increasing the utilization of COBID-certified firms and employment of women and people of color in the workforce on construction projects.
  2. The most significant results have been achieved in Construction contracting where the City has made the largest investment of resources and policy tools.
  3. Disaggregated data - made available below in all cases where it is available to Procurement Services - show that while there are some positive signs, the aforementioned achievements in the aggregate have not been shared across all demographics. For example:
    • In contracting and subcontracting, many of the gains made by firms owned by white women have not been experienced to the same extent by firms owned by people of color, especially women of color.
    • In construction workforce:
      • The City has steadily increased the percentage of people of color and women over the past three fiscal years, but the City has yet to reach the 9% target for female participation
      • The increase for workers of color in the construction workforce is made up largely of an increase in Latinx workers with other demographics remaining flat.
      • Both women and people of color are more highly-represented in crafts with lower wages than those with higher wages.

Prime and Subcontractor Demographics in Construction & Professional Services

Demographics of the ownership of both prime contractors and subcontractors are key indicators in measuring the success of the City’s social equity in contracting programs. With the January 2018 implementation a new technology system to track compliance with the City’s subcontracting and workforce requirements, the City is now able to report these demographics in a more robust and disaggregated fashion. The tables below summarize those key indicators over the past two fiscal years.

Infographic comparing payments made on completed projects and contractual agreements on active projects across FY19 and FY20.
To explore this data further, view our Contract Award Summary dashboard and our Payments Summary dashboard. (Note: to view construction contracts only, select "Construction" only under the "Contract Type" filter.)
Infographic comparing payments made on completed projects and contractual agreements on active projects across FY19 and FY20.
To explore this data further, view our Contract Award Summary dashboard and our Payments Summary dashboard. (Note: to view professional services contracts only, select "Professional Services" only under the "Contract Type" filter.)

Subcontractor Equity Program

The Subcontractor Equity Program (SEP) requires that any city-owned construction projects and all city-sponsored projects valued at $150,000 or more include an aspirational goal that 20% of hard construction costs go towards COBID subcontractors. COBID stands for Certification Office for Business Inclusion and Diversity, a State of Oregon office. Of the 20%, 14% should go to Disadvantaged, Women, or Minority Business Enterprise contractors. The City encourages prime contractors to diversify their COBID subcontractor utilization for all available divisions of work.

Infographic of the Subcontractor Equity Program’s goals and performance for FY 2019 and FY 2020. Performance that did not meet the goal is highlighted in red while those that did is heighted in green. In FY 2019, 3 out of 4 of the indicators are in red. In FY 2020, 4 out of the 4 indicators are in red.
To explore this data further, view our Contract Award Summary dashboard. View our Payments Summary dashboard. (Note: To view data subject to the Subcontractor Equity Program only, press the "Filter values for the Subcontractor Equity Program" button at the top.)

Regarding data: due to a mid-fiscal year to the transition to a new system for tracking compliance, only two complete years of data is available. This data also includes projects subject to CBA/CEIP requirements (i.e., projects over $25MM or $15MM, respectively) which are more detailed and stringent than SEP.

Workforce Training & Hiring Program

The goal of the Workforce Training & Hiring Program (WTHP) is to increase the numbers of women and people of color in the construction trades through apprenticeship opportunities on City of Portland projects. The Workforce Training & Hiring Program applies to city construction projects estimated at $200,000 and above and subcontracts at $100,000 and above. The Program requirements include:

  • 18% goal for participation by people of color
  • 9% goal for female participation
  • A minimum of 20% of the labor hours per trade are worked by State-registered apprentices

While more progress is required to achieve equity, the City is meeting or nearly meeting its goals for creating opportunities in the construction workforce for people of color and female workers.

Infographic comparing Workforce Training & Hiring Program’s goals and performance between FY 2018, FY 2019 and FY 2020. Performance that did not meet the goal is highlighted in red while those that did is heighted in green. In FY 2018, female and apprenticeship participation are in red. In FY 2019, one is in red. In FY 2020, one is red.
To explore this data further, view our Workforce Training & Hiring Program dashboard.

Prime Contractor Development Program

The Prime Contractor Development Program (PCDP) is designed to increase prime construction contracting opportunities for COBID-certified contractors with the City of Portland. Projects in the PCDP range from $5,000 to $1MM. Through the PCDP, contractors receive technical assistance, educational and business development support. While these certified contractors benefit from participating in PCDP, the program also offers the unique opportunity for city bureaus to access a pool of contractors that have historically been underutilized.

This program has been successful in awarding contracts to COBID-certified firms - over the past five fiscal years, the PCDP has awarded $63.7M in prime construction contracts to contractors in the program. Disaggregated analysis, however, shows that 43% of the contract awards went to white woman-owned firms; 37% went to firms owned by people of color and 20% went to male-owned firms with an Emerging Small Business designation.

Prime Contractor Development Program - Fiscal Years 2016 thru 2020

Download this excel file for more granular project/contract information. 

























Direct Contracting

The Direct Contracting program increases the City's utilization of COBID-certified firms by waiving competitive solicitation under certain scenarios. This creates an incentive for City staff to utilize these firms, since it reduces the level of effort needed to execute a contract. When first implemented, this program was available only for Professional Services contracts with an estimated contract value below $100,000. However, given the success of the program, it was expanded last year to include all non-construction Goods+Services contracts and the threshold was raised to $150,000.

This program has been successful in awarding contracts to COBID-certified firms; over the past three fiscal years, this program has seen over 200 contracts representing $12.3mm awarded to COBID-certified firms. Disaggregated analysis, however, shows that 51% of the contract awards went to white woman-owned firms; 26% went to firms owned by people of color and 23% went to male-owned firms with an Emerging Small Business designation.

Direct Contracting - Fiscal Years 2018 thru 2020

To explore this data further, view our Professional Service Direct Contracting Award dashboard. 





















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Community Opportunity & Enhancements Program (COEP)

The Community Opportunities and Enhancements Program (COEP) is a strategy to increase diversity and equity in construction contracting. The goals of the COEP are to increase the number of people of color and women in the trades and to remove barriers for construction firms owned by people of color and women so that they can successfully participate in public contracting. Through a series of grants, the COEP will provide workforce development and business technical assistance to accomplish its goals.

During the last fiscal year, the program entered into an intergovernmental agreement with Prosper Portland to administer the grants program. Prosper Portland awarded grants to seven local organizations:

  • Central City Concern
  • Oregon Tradeswomen
  • Urban League of Portland
  • LatinoBuilt
  • Livelihood NW
  • National Association of Minority Contractors-Oregon
  • Professional Business Development Group
  • Urban League of Portland

Community Equity & Inclusion Committee (CEIC)

The City also launched the Community Equity & Inclusion Committee. Construction projects between $10MM and $25MM that are bid using an alternative method (i.e., not a standard "low bid" procurement) require the prime contractor to establish a Community Equity and Inclusion Plan. The CEIC reviews these plans and makes recommendations to improve the diversity in subcontractor utilization and the workforce employed on these projects. The CEIC is made up of community members and representatives from local trade unions and professional organizations. It is facilitated by the Office of Equity & Human Rights with participation by subject matter experts and project managers from infrastructure bureaus and the Procurement Services division. To date, the CEIC has analyzed and advised on PBOT’s Capitol Highway and Sullivan’s Gulch Crossing projects, as well as on the Water Bureau’s Corrosion Control project.

Construction Career Pathways Project (C2P2)

The City has been a key partner in the C2P2 project – a local partnership between public, private and non-profit entities whose goal is to increase career opportunities for people of color and women. This project aims to enable the C2P2 partners to meet the regional demand for a skilled construction workforce through regional coordination and collective efforts to establish consistent recruitment, training, and retention policies and practices in the region. C2P2 made several policy recommendations to its members, including establishing clear construction workforce diversity goals, tracking and reviewing progress against goals, establishing contractually binding workforce agreements, and investing in workforce; the City has implemented the majority of these recommendations.

Job Order Contracting

The Job Order Contracting program (JOC) is intended to help the City address backlogs of maintenance work and reduce barriers for COBID-certified firms in accessing construction contracting opportunities. The JOC model establishes contracts with multiple contractors for each category of work where the pricing is established. Once contracts are awarded, bureaus can schedule projects in advance without having to go through a solicitation and contract for every job. This model is transparent, auditable and encourages high quality of work and collaboration between the City and the awarded contractors. A benefit to the contractors is that, as long as they perform quality work, they can reasonably expect to continue to perform work in their category throughout the life of the contract. Being able to plan ahead and forecast work through this model will allow contractors to develop relationships with the City and understand the intricacies of administering a City contract.

Approved by Council in May 2019 for paving and asphalt repair, the program has cut $2.6MM in task order amounts to JOC contractors through June 30, 2020. (Task Orders are mini-contracts that define the project and conform to the master contract.) The demographics of the firms are depicted below. Due to the success of the program, the City is now in the process of expanding the JOC program into building alteration contracts, including mechanical, electrical, plumbing and roofing.

Column chart of the Job Order Contracting program by task order amounts grouped by race (e.g. Asian-Pacific American, Hispanic American, White American, and Black American) ordered from lowest to highest amounts. The bars are also divided by gender.
The Job Order Contracting program is succeeding in creating construction contracting opportunities for firms owned by women and by people of color.
Column chart of the Job Order Contracting program by task order amounts grouped by gender (e.g. male and female) ordered from lowest to highest amounts. The columns are also divided by race (Asian-Pacific American, Hispanic American, White, and Black American).

Portland Building Project Spotlight

The Portland Building Project is an example of the City’s evolving approach in construction that includes increasing the number of Construction Request for Proposals (RFP) and other alternative contracting models in order to achieve goals (such as equity in contracting) beyond simply minimizing the cost to the City. This project made use of the Community Equity and Inclusion Plan (CEIP) and Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) Programs, included the Community Equity and Investment Committee (CEIC) and supported the Community Opportunities & Enhancements Program (COEP).

The Portland Building Rehabilitation Project was one of the most significant capital projects in recent years. The project used a “progressive design/build” contracting model, which facilitated involvement of the design-build team during the earliest stages of the owner’s project development and ensured they would be part of the project team developing design solutions. This promoted collaboration and provided a high degree of cost certainty.

  • The project had an Equity Inclusion & Diversity Plan that helped to promote subcontractor and workforce diversity goals
  • A Social Equity Program Support Group met monthly to review and advise on the project’s subcontractor and workforce diversity performance and provided monthly updates to the Portland Building Oversight Committee to ensure achievement of goals by project completion
  • For this project, the City directly contracted with COBID-certified firms under a certain threshold (this threshold was raised for this project) and could also use PCDP contractors.

Ultimately, the Portland Building Project achieved most of the established subcontractor and workforce diversity goals. As of June 2020, the Portland Building Reconstruction Project achieved 27% COBID participation for Design Services and 33% COBID participation for Construction Services. Overall, the project met the aggregate goals for apprentice and journey level participation. A summary of the hours reported through June 2020 is provided, below. 

Infographic showing the Portland Building’s goals and actual participation. For female apprenticeships and journeyworkers, the program achieved 1% more than the goal for female journeyworkers and 18% more than the goal for female apprentices. For minority apprenticeships and journeyworkers, the program achieved 7% more than the goal for minority journeyworkers and 10% more for minority apprenticeships.
As described in the narrative, the Portland Building Project took intentional and innovative approaches to managing this project which resulted in dramatically exceeding workforce goals for women and people of color. 

Minority Evaluation Program

On December 16, 2009, Portland City Council passed a resolution requiring all City Bureaus to include at least one minority evaluator from the community in the procurement award process. This is the first program in the United States designed to ensure a transparent contracting evaluation process by incorporating diverse and qualified evaluators from the community to serve on evaluation panels that help to award city contracts. Currently there are 451 community members in the volunteer database with expertise in different industry categories. Unlike other programs, the Minority Evaluator Program applies to construction and non-construction projects alike.

Between January 2010 thru December 2019, the Minority Evaluator Program connected 745 minority evaluators to serve on 805 evaluation panels. Of those 805 panels, approximately 742 or 92% successfully awarded contracts. During this same time period, the program only granted 63 waivers because of the lack of availability from volunteers to participate on panels.

For more program information, contact Tiffani Penson at tiffani.penson@portlandoregon.gov or 503.823.8866.

Equity in Construction Contracting Audit

The Office of the City Auditor conducted an audit of the City’s Equity in Construction Contracting programs that was completed in 2020. That report can be found here, and includes the Procurement Division's response to the audit starting on page 34.

Our Response to COVID-19

Procurement’s Contributions to COVID Relief Efforts

Starting in March 2020, the Procurement Services deployed three staff members to the Emergency Coordination Center to provide procurement expertise to the City’s response to COVID-19. These staff were crucial in procuring the following services:

  • Contracting with Freeland Spirits, a local woman-owned distillery, to produce hand sanitizer for the City.
  • Contracting with Kroger (Fred Meyer) to obtain $190,000 in Visa gift cards for a rent assistance program. This program helped 760 families.
  • Negotiating an intergovernmental agreement with Portland State University for quarantine rooms in case City staff were exposed to COVID during their work.
  • Contracting with Hood to Coast and Equitable Giving Circle to distribute over a million meals and work with farmers who identify as Black, Indigenous, or as a person of color (BIPOC) to contribute culturally appropriate food for BIPOC communities, respectively.
  • Contracting with Trash for Peace to operate a bottle and can recycling center for houseless people to be able to return recyclables for money; the usual centers at grocery stores and the three large, regional collection centers had closed with the rest of businesses.

Staff also sought to target non-profit organizations in our local communities when procuring emergency response services. These organizations provided various food security services and household support services:

  • African Youth & Community Organization (AYCO)
  • Division Midway Alliance
  • NAACP Portland Chapter 1120B
  • Equitable Giving Circle
  • Better Series, LLC dba H2C Productions (Hood to Coast)
  • Familias en Accion
  • Impact NW
  • Native American Family and Youth Association (NAYA)
  • Self Enhancement, Inc. (SEI)
  • Black Parent Initiative
  • Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO)
  • Trash for Peace

Keeping the City's Procurement Functions Operational

Procurement Services’ purpose is to support City Bureaus in procuring commodities and services necessary for the bureaus to operate. Due to COVID-19, all Procurement staff, except for those deployed to the ECC suddenly found themselves working exclusively from home. Despite being thrust into the pandemonium of homeschooling, the fears of COVID-19, and the isolation of Stay-At-Home orders, Procurement staff kept our division and our support to City Bureaus fully operational. Procurement was prepared to quickly adjust to the situation due to key changes:

  • When our Bureau, the Bureau of Revenue and Financial Services (BRFS) was due to replace staff computers in 2017, the bureau’s leadership opted to trade in PC towers for laptops, facilitating our ability to work remotely.
  • Procurement Services already operated on staggered teleworking schedules, which allowed staff to better achieve life-work balance.
  • Procurement staff had experience scheduling, conducting, and facilitating meetings virtually. This was crucial as project timelines ticked on, and public procurement projects were still subject to various public procurement requirements.

Procurement’s earlier efforts to modernize, streamline, make more efficient and transparent the procurement process also played an important role in our ability to stay fully operational.

  • Despite the uncertainty in the General Fund’s future, the new funding model has allowed us to be more resilient to budget changes as we have decreased our reliance on these funds.
  • Our new organizational structure has allowed us to complete more projects and keep up with procurement demand from the bureaus than before.
  • Our push for increased transparency and efficiency in the procurement process allowed bureau project managers to continue to track their reports in real time. Concurrently, Procurement’s Leadership continued to hold regular bureau customer meetings to provide updates and answer questions.
  • Our move to discontinue paper-based processes, simplify the intake process and permit vendors to submit their solicitations electronically has also allowed us to stay operational with little hard copy process to inhibit remote work functionality.
Stacked column chart of contracts in dollars executed March thru June for FY 2018, FY 2019, and FY 2020.
The average amount of contract dollars from FY 2018 to 2020 for the months of March thru June combined is $151MM. In those months in FY 2020, Procurement executed 44% more contract dollars than the average.
Stacked column chart of contracts in number of contracts executed March thru June for FY 2018, FY 2019, and FY 2020.
The average number of contracts executed from FY18 to FY20 for March thru June is 378. In FY20, Procurement executed 91% of the AVG number of contracts. Although this represents 9% fewer than the AVG, the work is still notable considering that Procurement staff suddenly found itself working remotely.

Who is Procurement? 

Division Demographics

Procurement Services values the diversity of its workforce and the range of viewpoints that provides the organization. While the organization does show a significant degree of diversity in race, gender, age and representation status, the Division’s leadership is not satisfied with its current lack of racial diversity on its leadership team. To this end, one of the things the Division intends to do is work with Human Resources to implement succession planning for each leadership position. Within the group of non-supervisory staff within the Division, there are several that have either expressed interest in pursuing a supervisory position and/or show great potential. The leadership team will engage staff members, focusing on BIPOC staff, and work to develop a professional development plan that would prepare them to succeed one of the existing supervisors. There are also opportunities to help existing supervisors obtain training and development to move into a Procurement Manager or the Chief Procurement Officer position.

Infographic of Procurement’s staff demographics by race and ethnicity, age, gender, union representation, and supervisor position.

Do you need this document translated? 

It is the policy of the City of Portland that no person shall be excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in any city program, service, or activity on the grounds of race, color, national origin, disability, or other protected class status. Adhering to Civil Rights Title VI and ADA Title II civil rights laws, the City of Portland ensures meaningful access to City programs, services, and activities by reasonably providing: translation and interpretation, modifications, accommodations, alternative formats, and auxiliary aids and services.  To request these services, contact 503-823-6872, City TTY 503-823-6868, Relay Service: 711.

Es política de la Ciudad de Portland que ninguna persona sea excluida de participación, se le nieguen los beneficios, o esté sujeta a discriminación en ningún programa, servicio o actividad de la ciudad por motivos de raza, color, nacionalidad, discapacidad u otra condición de clase protegida. En cumplimiento con los Derechos Civiles Título VI y con las leyes de derechos civiles del ADA Título II, la Ciudad de Portland asegura el acceso significativo a programas, servicios y actividades de la ciudad al brindar de manera razonable: traducción e interpretación, modificaciones, adaptaciones, formatos alternativos y ayudas y servicios auxiliares.  Para solicitar estos servicios, llame al 503-823-6872, al TTY de la ciudad 503-823-6868, o al servicio para las personas con problemas auditivos: 711.

Chính sách của Thành Phố Portland là không ai bị loại khỏi, bị từ chối phúc lợi, hoặc bị phân biệt đối xử trong bất kỳ chương trình, dịch vụ hay hoạt động nào của thành phố dựa trên chủng tộc, màu da, nguồn gốc quốc gia, khuyết tật, hoặc tình trạng khác được pháp luật bảo vệ. Tuân theo Đạo Luật Dân Quyền (Civil Rights) Khoản VI và Đạo Luật ADA Khoản II, Thành Phố Portland đảm bảo sự tiếp cận hiệu quả đối với các chương trình, dịch vụ và hoạt động của thành phố bằng cách cung cấp một cách hợp lý: dịch vụ biên dịch và thông dịch, biện pháp điều chỉnh, sửa đổi, hình thức thay thế, và thiết bị và dịch vụ phụ trợ.  Để yêu cầu các dịch vụ này, hãy liên hệ 503-823-6872, Dịch Vụ TTY của Thành Phố 503-823-6868, Dịch Vụ Chuyển Tiếp: 711.

Политика администрации Портленда запрещает отстранять от участия в городских программах и мероприятиях, отказывать в обслуживании и льготах или иным образом подвергать дискриминации на основании расы, цвета кожи, национальности, инвалидности или иного защищенного статуса. В соответствии с разделом VI Закона о гражданских правах и разделом II Закона о правах американских граждан с ограниченными возможностями администрация Портленда заботится о полноценном доступе жителей к городским программам, услугам и мероприятиям. При необходимости доступны устный и письменный перевод, адаптивные меры, специальные устройства, материалы в альтернативном формате и иные вспомогательные средства и услуги.  Для заказа этих услуг свяжитесь с нами. Телефон: 503-823-6872; городской телетайп: 503-823-6868; служба коммутируемых сообщений: 711.


Gennie Nguyen

Analyst I, Operations

Paul Stewart

Procurement Operations Supervisor, Analyst II