Controller: City could save $8m by joining the 21st century

Mayor Michael Nutter using cell phone
Alan Butkovitz said Mayor Michael Nutter’s administration could be doing more to use technology as a cost-saver. Credit: Rikard Larma/Metro

The city has long been notorious for spending money on technological projects that are poorly implemented or don’t pan out at all — citywide surveillance camera system, anyone?

So it may not come as a surprise to some that Philadelphia could save $8.1 million each year just by updating the technology it uses to procure vendors, according to an audit released today by City Controller Alan Butkovitz.

Butkovitz said the city’s procurement systems haven’t been upgraded in so long — over a decade — that they no longer support upgrades.

But $7.4 million could be saved annually by moving to a new eProcurement system that would eliminate the need for “manual, redundant, labor intensive and out-of-date business processes,” according to his report. The switch would also allow the city to save an additional $750,000 through staffing reductions.

Butkovitz found an additional $4 million in savings could be achieved by amending the city’s contract terms to allow for multiyear agreements with vendors, leading to greater competition. He said a Home Rule Charter provision requiring city contracts to last only one year discourages businesses from bidding.

“The authors of the 1951 City Charter could not have anticipated the way business is conducted in the 21st century,” Butkovitz said. “The city should do what is necessary to take advantage of longer-term pricing and other vendor offerings.”

Butkovitz would like to see the savings generated from the implementation of his recommendations dispersed as temporary grant funds to municipal departments with the purpose of spurring additional technology investments.

“The reinvestment in technology will provide a steady source of funding through economies gained to fund future initiatives,” he said. “It would halt the wasteful cycle of spending monies to maintain the current archaic, undesirable and unsustainable manual processes.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Local

African couple claiming misidentification in robbery case to…

At a bail hearing today for Vickson and Lorfu Korlewala, charged in the robbery of an 80-year-old woman, bail was reduced from $1 million total to $500,000.

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

NHL

Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.