Nov 17, 2022

Approaches to a More Equitable Government Spending

It’s been over two years since policy-makers began to redouble equity efforts with state and local budgets and programs. This recent article in Route Fifty takes a look at where things stand in light of those efforts.

Local governments are often some of the biggest spenders in their region, giving them the ability to directly influence their local economies. According to research conducted by Proximo, directing $1 million in procurement spending toward diverse suppliers can create as many as 10 new jobs. Each one of these jobs drives at least $124,000 in direct economic impact through tax revenues, helping to build and enrich local communities where suppliers live and work.

However, these businesses are often discouraged by some traditional barriers to participation in public procurement. The article outlines that accessing and navigating systems isn’t easy. Responding to a request for proposals is often confusing and time consuming which puts smaller businesses at a disadvantage, disproportionately affecting minority- and women-owned businesses. This in inturn means less competition, thereby less competitive pricing disabling the governments to drive more value out of every tax dollar spent on procurement.

Periscope powered by mdf commerce’s source-to-pay solutions have been empowering local and state government agencies to transform their procurement practices by driving increased vendor participation, creating a level playing field for diverse suppliers and helping agencies generate more value out of their procurement budgets.

The article features an example of one such collaboration. In partnership with Periscope, Long Beach launched a more user-friendly procurement platform that records vendor demographics and other statistics to help the city track progress on its equity goals. The piece highlights that the preliminary results of the platform are promising: nearly all of the requests for proposals in the sample set had more than three bids and an average of 15 vendors per request. (In 2021, nearly half of RFPs had three or fewer bids.) And, nearly 60% of the responses are from local businesses while participation from minority- and women-owned businesses has jumped by as much as 10 percentage points over 2021.

Government agencies are working to modernize their procurement practices in ways that reduce participation barriers for underrepresented and marginalized groups. In order to do so effectively, governments need to adopt source-to-pay tools that are custom built for the public sector to increase efficiency and ensure compliance. Solutions provided by Periscope powered by mdf commerce allow access to a wider supplier network, streamline participation processes for diverse suppliers and promote a fair and transparent procurement process. Furthermore, the data derived from the solutions offers key insights that allow governments to better track, measure and meet the goals of their organizations and generate better opportunities for everyone.

Visit to learn about how source-to-pay solutions can help promote fairness and transparency in public procurement.