NYC.gov’s tech procurement process is slow, expensive and frequently produces bad software tools. Today’s procurement processes for software are the same as those for purchasing buckets or gravel. Good technology purchasing requires a different approach, because all outcomes cannot be defined upfront.
Changes to procurement rules will make it easier for the City to do business with emerging, smaller tech companies. Increasing the size of the talent pool will increase competition and offer more variety of approaches and tools. The Federal “RFP-EZ” program is a model for this approach, by providing a website for small businesses to sell their services, and for contracting officers within government to navigate the process of purchasing.