Reporting

MOCS Innovation & Impact

NYC contracting is now fully digital! The Mayor’s Office of Contract Services (MOCS) continues to collaboratively implement new policies, introduce helpful tools, and strengthen support services to streamline New York City procurement and enhance the experience of vendors and agencies. Fiscal Year 2021 marked a milestone for New York City contracting. The City rolled out fully digital contracting from solicitation to contract registration through PASSPort (the Procurement and Sourcing Solutions Portal). Budget and invoice management is also available in PASSPort and is being phased in with agencies and vendors.

This achievement culminated from successive years of establishing a digital foundation, first in the health and human services sector through HHS Accelerator, and more recently through the first two releases of PASSPort, which digitized vendor filing processes and added goods catalogs to the system. These releases saw faster cycle times for key process steps – including reducing the time spent on vendor background checks from about seven weeks to three days and vendor disclosure filing from about 30 days to one. Meanwhile, $73M in goods have been ordered from Citywide master agreements for goods like furniture and stationery through the goods catalogs. Additional data on citywide and agency-specific performance are available in the Data/Publications Data/Publications section. Our overarching vision for change is captured in the About section.

 

PASSPort Digital Contracting Established During Global Pandemic – Growing to Meet the City’s New Needs

Release 3 of PASSPort allows agencies and contractors to complete the entirety of the procurement process in a single, standard, centralized digital system – identifying and soliciting potential vendors, completing pre-solicitation approvals, releasing solicitations and allowing vendors to respond in system, evaluating responses, drafting a contract, and ultimately submitting contract packages to the Comptroller.

This new digital process could not have arrived a moment too soon. The COVID-19 crisis put an even greater value on digital workspaces and electronic business practices that remove notary and signature requirements and minimize paperwork that require person-to-person handoffs. It also posed a new challenge for the City workforce – learning and acclimating to a transformational way of work in remote settings, while also completing critical emergency response tasks. Ultimately, the agency and vendor workforces came through – FY21 not only saw the launch of end-to-end digital procurement, but also a massive increase in procurement by 35% to over $30 billion citywide. As a result, workflow task completion in-system grew by over a million tasks after R3 went live (see below). Today, PASSPort is firmly the City of New York’s procurement center, with new solicitations, responses, awards and tasks growing by day.


Proposals Received Per Month
RFX Released Per Month

Growth of Contract Registrations

 

Total Filed Vendors by Year

 

Total Workflow Tasks Completed by Year

 

 

 

Digital Contracting Designed to Elevate Small Businesses and Support Sector Partnerships

Converting the City’s procurement system to a digital practice required a deliberate and phased approach to minimize business disruption and maximize adoption for both our vendors and agency users. We began with two small business portfolios, providing customized support and a long runway to learn.

M/WBE Contracting Portfolio: Welcoming New Businesses to City Contracting

In partnership with groups like the Office of Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (OM/WBE) and the Department of Small Business Services (SBS), MOCS has historically championed the City’s M/WBE program and advocated policy improvements to further expand the City’s utilization of M/WBEs. For example, the City recently raised the Noncompetitive Small Purchase Method threshold from $150,000 to $500,000, enabling a more streamlined contracting process for M/WBEs on contracts valued up to $500,000.

PASSPort similarly furthers this goal. MOCS prioritized agency fluency and vendor participation in M/WBE noncompetitive small purchases right from the launch of PASSPort digital contracting, which aligns to the overarching goal of enhancing access and leveling the playing field for all businesses. PASSPort aims to brings in small, first-time contractors, and we successfully saw filed M/WBE vendor accounts increase in-system by 20% since R3 go-live.

 

Total MWBE Small Purchase Registrations

 

 

MOCS has supported O/MWBE in continuing to update policy in response to program needs – recently PASSPort account creation was added as requirement to the M/WBE certification process, further ensuring that the platform serves this program. MOCS will continue to support the M/WBE program through policy coordination and updates with OM/WBE and SBS, while driving system functionality that makes it easier for M/WBEs to contract with the City.

 

HHS City Council Discretionary Contracting Portfolio: A City Council, Agency and Provider Collaboration

City Council discretionary contracting heavily funds small, community-based non-profits through thousands of annual awards across more than a dozen City agencies. Many of the vendors are receiving government contracts for the first time, have limited administrative staff, receive multiple awards in a year and use discretionary awards as an entry point to larger City contracting. With this diverse portfolio, we could support important partners and establish three significant strategies:
  • Learning Resources. This diverse portfolio of vendors required us to develop a range of resources and provided the opportunity to assess their effectiveness before rolling out citywide. As in prior technology engagements, we soon recognized that different learning materials are more helpful for different sets of users. Today, we offer a multitude of resources, including videos, webinars, user guides, and one-on-one office hours, with 24/7 access to information at nyc.gov/passport/learning resources.
  • Designing Process Efficiencies. PASSPort’s centralized and digital platform enables us to strategically design contracting processes across City agencies. In the case of discretionary contracts, we used PASSPort to introduce contract bundling and bulk processing to combine multiple awards with a single agency into one contract. This reduced administrative activity by approximately two thirds. Bulk processing allows us to upload standard information across a portfolio in a single action, eliminating the need for the agency to repeatedly input the same information and accelerating the contracting process.
  • Performance Management. With the discretionary contracting portfolio, we developed key performance indicators and dashboards to assess performance and identify where vendors and agencies were getting stuck in a new electronic process. With this information, we tailored our support and provided important data to contracting agencies so that they could manage their teams and redefinetheir practices. The annual timeline for discretionary contracting also typically lags, and this yearkicked off later than usual in partnership with the City Council. Despite this slow start and adapting to a new process, we have seen this contracting portfolio make steady progress with strong momentum headed into FY22.

 

Reflecting on FY21, Moving into the Future

We’ve seen strong growth in agency and vendor adoption of PASSPort during FY21, but in many ways a central digital platform for Citywide contracting is only the start. Agencies performed admirably in adopting this new system amidst a global pandemic that strained workloads and completely disrupted the way work gets done. Now, MOCS and agency procurement teams must focus on solidifying system knowledge, re-engineering existing processes to maximize the opportunity for speed, and using data to manage procurement operations.

In the previous paper-based model, the City simply did not have the data available to make strategic decisions on procurement, comprehensively understand pain points in the contracting process, or benchmark performance. This changes with the shift to a digital platform, and MOCS will continue tosupport agencies and vendors in deriving the data most valuable to informing their practice.

Further, the past year has continued to reaffirm the importance of iterative stakeholder feedback to drive system design. We released over 1,200 items to add enhancements to the system or patch issues since R3 go-live, many of which were sourced from continuous dialogue with system users – vendors and agencies. MOCS will continue to take this approach as the City introduces budgeting and invoicing in PASSPort and looks ahead to additional features that can improve the experience for doingbusiness with the City.

 

HHS Accelerator: A Foundation for Digital Transformation

PASSPort is now the central place for doing business with the City of New York! Check out the PASSPort webpage to learn how to create an account and find and respond to opportunities for doing business with the City.

HHS Accelerator functionality is now limited to document storage through the Document Vault and budget and invoice management through Financials. Procurements and Applications Modules will remain available for read-only historical data.

HHS Accelerator was launched in 2013 to streamline administrative activities across City Agencies and introduce a collaborative, digital workspace with human services providers. The system introduced a digital prequalification process to expedite sourcing – the first step in the procurement process. HHSA modernized and demystified the Request for Proposal (RF) process, captured data that allowed for sector-wide policy design and implementation, and sped and digitized budget and invoice processing. The transparency and tracking capabilities changed how business is done and showcased what is possible when government commits to partnerships with industry. For more about the nonprofit initiatives please visit the Partnering with Nonprofits page on the MOCS website.

 

RFPs Released Per Fiscal Year
Growth of Prequalified Providers

 

Proposals Received Per Fiscal Year

 

 

Extending and Expanding Digital Procurement

The success of HHSA was a key driver for the growth of digital procurement transformation efforts – expanding beyond the Health and Human Services industry to include the City’s entire contracting portfolio and digitizing the contract registration process, which had not been part of HHS Accelerator. With the launch of the PASSPort prequalification and electronic solicitations are available for all industries, including Health and Human Services. PASSPort also realizes a long-held but until now unfulfilled vision to establish a fully digital and transparent pipeline for moving contracts all the way to registration. Budget and invoice management will also be migrated to PASSPort beginning in calendar year 2022, phasing in contracts to achieve full procurement consolidation in one platform. For more about PASSPort, visit nyc.gov/passport.

 

FY21 Average Invoice Cycle Time