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Posted at 12:47 PM ET, 02/04/2010

Fenty seeks to modernize D.C. purchasing rules

It's certainly not as sexy as subpoenas, but how the District spends its money on goods and services is something all taxpayers should care about.

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) held court this morning in the lobby of the hulking One Judiciary Square building to announce a complete rewrite of the city's rules for determining what the government buys, from whom and at what price.

David Gragan, the city's procurement chief, has spent more than a year trying to modernize and streamline the 35-year-old law to make it more transparent and flexible. The legislation, which will be submitted to the D.C. Council, generally tries to speed up the process and includes the promotion of environmentally friendly goods and more training for city workers.

"It's my job to demand that we move as fast as humanly possible and that we do it in an open and transparent process," said Fenty, who was surrounded by a crowd of procurement staff.

A reporter asked Fenty whether the proposed overhaul was in response to the Council's probe into contracts for recreation construction projects that were awarded to people with close ties to him. The mayor said the new rules had been in the works for the past year-and-a-half, and that the contracts in question were handled by the independent D.C. Housing Authority, not the executive branch.

By Ann Marimow  |  12:47 PM ET, 02/04/2010

Categories:  Ann E. Marimow, Ann E. Marimow, Ann E. Marimow

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