the la city council chamber
LA City Council Chamber. photo by John Schreiber.

The Los Angeles City Council Tuesday adopted an ordinance to establish an Office of Procurement in an effort to streamline purchasing services for the city.

The office, which will be under the City Administrator’s Office, will be tasked with making recommendations to the City Council and mayor regarding “standards, policies, processes and technology” related to procurement and contracting activities.

Procurement is the second-largest category of spending by the city behind staff salaries, according to the ordinance. The city spends about $4.5 billion a year on procuring goods, services and construction, according to a 2021 motion filed by Council members Nithya Raman, Paul Krekorian and Mitch O’Farrell.

“Treating procurement as a strategic function of government, rather than simply an administrative matter, is crucial to achieving the city*s social, economic and environmental goals,” the ordinance states

Mayor Eric Garcetti created a Chief Procurement Officer role in 2018, but the ordinance notes that the city “requires additional resources to ensure strategic procurement across city departments and offices.”

The council members’ motion claims that Los Angeles “has lagged behind other major cities when it comes to professionalizing, streamlining and developing a strategic approach to procurement.”

The office will serve as an intermediary between the private sector and city and identify opportunities for the city to leverage its purchasing power.

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