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Know Your WWC Criteria: Using Performance Data in Contracting

Blog Post
What Works Cities certification provides a national standard for management of local governments using data and evidence. In this blog series, we highlight WWC certification criteria and what the City of Portland is doing to achieve them.
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Results-Driven Contracting Criterion 6: Use of Performance Data in Contracting

The What Works Cities (WWC) Certification program has 45 criteria for best practices in data management, performance analytics, evaluation, results-driven contracting, and more. This month we're featuring Results-Driven Contracting criterion #6: Your local government reviews vendor performance data to inform future contracting decisions, including the selection of vendors, renewal of contracts, and/or expansion of existing scopes.

A blue banner across the top of this infographic reads "Certification Criteria" and shows the What Works Cities and Bloomberg Philanthropies logos. Icons arranged in two rows read "Data Governance," "Evaluations," "Performance & Analytics," "Open Data," "General Management," "Repurposing," "Results-Driven Contracting," and "Stakeholder Engagement."

Results-Driven Contracting (RDC) centers the acquisition of goods and services as a strategic function focused on improving city's outcomes for the community. The idea recognizes that contracted spending constitutes a large portion of municipal budgets, and that many strategic priorities of cities can only be accomplished with goods and services acquired from the private sector. Yet, cities often treat the procurement process as a back office administrative function instead of as an opportunity to advance high priority objectives.

Conversely, adopting a results-driven approach to selecting vendors and managing contracts enables cities to drive better performance with their contracted dollars. Results-Driven Contracting treats procurement as a strategic function by identifying goals of key procurements, actively managing contracts, and documenting and referencing performance data from previous contracts. Local governments incorporating this approach use performance data at key points in the procurement and contract management process, with an eye towards achieving the organization’s larger goals. 

So, whether you’re implementing a digital payment platform, soliciting for support services, hiring a consultant to lead a strategic planning process, or repairing utility infrastructure, results-driven contracting tactics connect these strategic decisions to desired outcomes. Results-Driven Contracting criterion #6 asks if cities utilize vendor performance data to inform the award, renewal, or expansion of contracts. It's similar to having a Yelp review for vendors that City staff can reference when necessary.  

We’re curious, how does your bureau determine whether to enter into, or continue a contract?  

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