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New York State Boosts Procurement Transparency Via Dashboard

The move, made during "Sunshine Week," could help suppliers learn more about contracting trends, and citizens to keep track of procurement trends. The launch comes amid a large procurement acquisition move.

New York City panorama skyline at sunrise. Manhattan office buildings / skysrcapers at the morning. New York City panoramatic shot.
A new contracting site in New York combines two of the hottest business trends in government technology — putting more procurement activities online and creating dashboards to make it easier to keep up with the work of public agencies.

The New York State Comptroller’s Office is now showing off its new Contracts by the Numbers website.

It’s a web page with a dashboard via which users — suppliers, citizens, government employees and others — can perform “more robust searches” on contracts for state agencies and public authorities.

According to a statement, the new site “expands” upon the search tools offered in Open Book New York, where users can digitally research state and local government financial records.

The launch of the new procurement site came as the Comptroller’s Office marked “Sunshine Week,” designed to boost government transparency and freedom of information efforts.

“Transparency is the hallmark of good government, and my office strives to provide the public with in-depth data to keep track of where their tax dollars are being spent,” Thomas DiNapoli, New York’s comptroller, said in the statement. “This tool will help the public, advocates and researchers, as well as subcontractors, MWBEs and other entities looking to do business with the state, readily access information about state contracts.”

The new site gives users the ability to search and sort via agency or authority, vendor and contract type. That includes contracts that have been either reviewed or not by the Comptroller’s Office.

High-level data on the dashboard shows that the state had 18,444 contracts as of Tuesday afternoon, with a total value of more than $130 billion. Leading contract types include those in the area of services, grants, commodities, consulting and construction.

The site does not allow vendors or agencies to buy supplies or services or otherwise enter into contracts.

But other data accessible from the new dashboard could help with contracting — for instance, users can learn about the average time it takes the Comptroller’s Office to review contracts, along with cost-savings measures taken by the state.

The Comptroller’s Office said that in 2023, more than 94 percent of contracts were either approved or rejected within 15 days.

The launch of the site comes as one of the biggest recent deals in the digital procurement space for governments and their suppliers unfolds.

Last week, investment firm KKR said it would take MDF Commerce private under a $189 million deal expected to win shareholder approval in the coming weeks. Companies such as MDF have access to the estimated $1.5 trillion U.S. state and local procurement market.

Meanwhile, gov tech company Euna Solutions recently made an acquisition that demonstrates the ongoing growth potential of online marketplaces for public agency procurement.

All that is happening as more local and state governments buy dashboard tools from gov tech vendors for tasks as varied as public safety and community engagement.