The D.C. City Council's Committee on Government Operations has revised a controversial bill designed to revamp the city's procurement practices by including a provision that would make the director of the Department of Administrative Services the chief contracting official for the city.
Committee Chairman William R. Spaulding (D-Ward 5) estimated that the centralized procedures established by the bill could save the city $20 million a year.
"It would also increase the amount of competitive bidding," he said.
Under the revised bill, the administrative services director rather than the mayor would be required to establish a comprehensive computer-based management information system to forecast the District's procurement needs.
All employes who now report to the mayor and who spend 50 percent or more of their time on procurement would be transferred to the administrative services department.
District-based businesses would be given preference when the city buys materials, equipment and supplies, but nearly all contracts exceeding $2,500 would be awarded by competitive bid.
The measure also would require the city administrator to promulgate rules and regulations for purchasing supplies and the conditions under which contracts could be awarded without competitive bids.
The bill also calls for the Office of the Inspector General to conduct an annual audit of the city's procurement practices.
Last year, the government operations committee sent the full council a similar bill, but Spaulding withdrew it after Mayor Marion Barry threatened to veto it.