Online portal saves Houstonians millions

Former Houston mayor Bill White was passionate about making government more transparent to the public. And so he did.


In 2008, he announced a revolutionary concept: a website that listed all of the city’s purchasing contracts and the spending associated with them. Everyone agreed it was a noble idea. Problem was, no one knew how to do it. This was groundbreaking stuff. There was no template, no other city’s solution to emulate.

And Mayor White wasn’t suggesting it—he promised that it would happen, within just a few months. That left the city’s purchasing department scrambling. They realized they needed a partner who could turn the mayor’s bold vision into a reality. We were honored when they came to us.

PROJECT GOAL:
Help City of Houston taxpayers save on unnecessary contracts by delivering an online purchasing catalog that made all city contracts completely transparent for all to see
TECHNOLOGY:
Platform Development / Portal Development

“The City of Houston partnered extremely well with Praxent and the end result was phenomenal in terms of look, feel and functionality. We found them to be extremely professional and pleasant to deal with.”

Adi Dajani / Strategic Purchasing Division / City of Houston

$40 million savings in two years


We took Mayor White’s idea and ran with it. We immersed ourselves in the the world of municipal procurement. And well within his promised deadline, we delivered an online purchasing information portal the city calls its E-Catalog.

This powerful tool helped the city dramatically increase government accountability and citizen participation—while saving taxpayers millions. It makes every city contract searchable and visible to the public. Citizen watchdogs can scrutinize where their tax dollars are going, and prospective vendors can identify competitive opportunities that result in lower costs for the city.

Unexpected benefits

Houston’s E-Catalog shows how combining a great idea with creative technology can deliver more than expected. The technology helps bring the city’s government and citizens together, providing:

Information that helps the city optimize procurement and reduce expenses

A persistent, functioning symbol of good government and promises kept

Crowd-sourced government oversight that fosters greater citizen participation

Data transparency that helps citizens hold their leaders accountable for more than just spending

The city enhanced its emergency preparedness policies thanks to an alert citizen who connected the dots between seemingly unrelated data points within the E-Catalog.

“Compared to others, they stood out with their knowledge, expertise and support. We look forward to future projects with them in the near future.”

Adi Dajani / Strategic Purchasing Division / City of Houston

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