City of L.A. Procurement Reform – New Online Certification System

Last week the City of LA went live with the new online certification system, developed in partnership with Sky Kelley, the Founder of a local company Avisare, and Michael Owl, the Chief Procurement Officer of the City of L.A. and his team.

What is it?

Here is a quick video tutorial:

How To Certify Your Business Tutorial Video

The City of Los Angeles’s new certification system will enable small businesses to apply to be certified for any number of certifications they qualify for — and track the status of those applications, receive requests for revisions and be approved or denied — all online.

Who is it for?

The certification system has two audiences:

  1. Small business owners. The process by which they apply to be certified has been completely transformed and remade with their needs as a top priority.
  2. Government agencies and any certifying bodies. The system makes it easier for these organizations to implement a faster, more efficient process that saves time and expedites certifications while serving as the critical first step towards a more connected, centralized procurement experience.

Why Does it Matter/What Will It Change?

The certifications tool will improve gender and racial equity by reducing barriers to entry for businesses that want to do business with the City and transforming the way the City does business by harnessing new technology and innovative ideas. The design of the certification tool is not merely an online form, it minimizes the amount of data entry required by the business while connecting the business to potential programs and allowing the city to collect much-needed data. 

The tool will also allow for a status view for the business providing clear visibility into the review process and the ability to pre-populate application data on all certification applications even for certifications outside the LA area. This allows the tool to scale to other jurisdictions – and as a long-term strategy, the City will lead the effort to regionalize the certification applications, thereby improving the business experience in an unprecedented fashion.

In short, this new certifications tool marks the shift from a fragmented, institution first model — to a connected, business-friendly network that fosters inclusivity, diversity, empowerment, trust, and measurable economic growth.