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Chicago’s Department of Procurement Services (DPS) recently unveiled its Vendor Compliance Resource Guide which explains contract compliance issues for vendors while reinforcing the City’s priorities

Lee Edwards | 5/29/2014, 11:29 a.m.
Chicago’s Department of Procurement Services (DPS) recently unveiled its Vendor Compliance Resource Guide which explains contract compliance issues for vendors ...
Eddie Jones, Senior Procurement Executive for Allpoints Security and Detective, Inc., and Dawn Whitfield, Cook County Bureau of Human Resources at the 2014 Vendor Fair held at the UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt last week.

Chicago’s Department of Procurement Services (DPS) recently unveiled its Vendor Compliance Resource Guide which explains contract compliance issues for vendors while reinforcing the City’s priorities of transparency and diversity contracting. The unveiling took place last week at the 2014 Vendor Fair held at the UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd. Hosted by DPS in partnership with Cook County, the fair was an outreach event attended by more than 1,000 small and large businesses owners.

“As we continue to strive for the best solutions to meet Chicago’s wide-ranging needs, one of our key objectives is to increase the diversity of business that bid on and earn city contracts,” said Emanuel. “A thriving community bolstered by small, minority-and-women-owned businesses is essential to helping our world-class city thrive.”

Designed for vendors interested in doing business with the City, the guide provides information and resources for each stage of the contracting process. Specifically, the manual addresses the roles and responsibilities for both prime and subcontractors across numerous issues, including M/W/DBE Special conditions and commercial usefulness function. It also provides an overview of the C2 and LCP tracker software that the City has developed to assist the vendor community with certification and contract compliance. The guide can be viewed at www.cityofchicago.org/dps.

The Vendor Fair featured 75 exhibitors discussing contracting opportunities in all areas, including professional services, technology, work services and commodities from federal, state, and local agencies. The event also included free customized workshops and targeted networking sessions for vendors.

“Outreach to the communities is a top priority for the Department of Procurement Services,” said Chief Procurement Officer Jamie Rhee. “Today’s Vendor Fair is one example of the more than 100 outreach events that DPS hosts or attends annually.”

“I come out to these events to network and to find out what business we can get being involved with the City of Chicago as well as Cook County,” said Eddie Jones, Senior Procurement Executive for Allpoints Security and Detective, Inc. “The city has opened this process to minority contractors as well as subcontractors so I think this is a great opportunity for anyone from across the entire community to just get involved.”

“I got to meet people one-on-one,” said Rosette Stavrou, marketing specialist for Acute Copiers, who attended the fair. “I got information that's tangible in my hands instead of going online. [There are] more minorities than I expected here; that’s a start. "

In addition to government agencies, all City of Chicago sister agencies and numerous trade associations, chambers of commerce and business groups participated in the Vendor Fair to encourage greater networking with participants. Outreach events like the Vendor Fair ensure continued fairness and transparency or the procurement process by having staff available to answer questions regarding upcoming opportunities.

Mayor Emanuel has made a series of efforts to maintain transparency and increase business for M/WBEs. These initiatives include the MBE/WBE Mentorship Program, Diversity Credit Program, the Small Business Initiative, and the Graduation Phase out Program for MBEs/WBEs.

For more information visit http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/dps.html.