Over the holidays the Board announced that it is now going to start posting vendor contracts online "as part of a district-wide effort to
foster transparency." See press release below.
Transparency has been an issue for CPS and other school districts nationwide. Some districts have gone so far as to post their check registers online, essentially making all payments viewable. Others have had their state open meeting laws challenged and upheld.
I'll leave it to you budget hawks to determine exactly how much of an improvement this latest move is, compared to the past practice of posting board report items (but not contract language) after each Board meeting. Is there any more detail or ease of viewing in the new setup than the old? You can see the contract information here.
Contracts Now Available Online for Public View
School officials announced today that vendor contracts are
now available online for public viewing as part of a district-wide effort to
Accessible contract information includes Board Report numbers,
contract numbers, contract descriptions, vendor names, contract amounts, the dates
contracts were signed and the contract amounts authorized by the Chicago Board
Contracts awarded by pool -- that is, to multiple vendors --
are also available.
Currently, more than 100 contracts, which are in PDF format,
have been placed on the CPS Department of Procurement and Contracts website. CPS
officials note that new contracts are being added to the website on a near
To view vendor contracts:
Go to the CPS Department of Procurement and Contracts
Click the "Board Reports" tab near the
Click the "View Board Reports here" link under
the bold "Board Reports" heading.
Click the "Contract awards for fiscal year
2010" link under the bold "DPC Contract Awards" heading.
Only contracts awarded in fiscal year 2010 and in the future
will be available online.
For more information, and to view vendor contracts online,
please visit the Department of Procurement and Contracts home page at: http://www.csc.cps.k12.il.us/
Chicago Public Schools serves approximately 408,000 students
in more than 670 schools. It is the nation's third-largest school system.