Request for Proposal Process Policy Brief 0809-05

31 August 09

Prepared by:

  • Erika Burton
  • Sean Hood
  • Jimmy Elcock
  • Elliot Waters

This report was written by undergraduate students at Loyola University New Orleans under the direction of Professor Peter F. Burns.


New Orleans’ request for proposal (RFP) process experiences copious interruptions that affect its efficiency. It needs accountability but greater efficiency as well. This report compares cities of similar structures to establish a process best fit to fulfill the needs of New Orleans. The time it takes New Orleans to process one RFP, Louisville, KY could complete four. In New Orleans, for instance, once a city department issues an RFP and contractors submit proposals, the city’s review process involves excessive oversight compared to processes in similar cities. The unnecessary oversight elongates the process and reduces efficiency.

A comparison of New Orleans’ RFP process with those of other commensurable cities, requested by Dr. Blakely, indicates different policy options that would expedite the process in New Orleans and reevaluate the different checks currently involved. The cities in the comparative case studies use different procedures that fulfill their needs. Based on case studies, we recommend that New Orleans implement an expedited procedure in times of emergency, a threshold of $50,000 that determines the review process for the proposal, improved communication between the mayor and the review board, and a permanent review board that includes the use of a paralegal.

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