Reforming Citywide Purchasing Processes, San Francisco Office of Contract Administration

FUSE Corps
Deadline for Applications

“Reforming Citywide Purchasing Processes”
Office of Contract Administration (OCA)

City and County of San Francisco


The City and County of San Francisco (the City) is one of the largest purchasers of goods and services within the region, annually conducting over $1 billion in transactions with the private, public and social sectors. The relative efficiency and effectiveness of the systems that are used to manage these transactions have a profound impact for both local government and those who contract with it on a regular basis. The City relies upon its purchasing processes and procedures to acquire a vast array of essential products and services in a timely fashion from appropriate providers at optimal levels of price and value, thus ensuring that taxpayer dollars are managed judiciously. For providers, the City’s purchasing processes are essential to ensuring streamlined, business-friendly, transparent, and fair partnerships.
Recognizing the opportunity to improve upon these and related systems, the City is currently undergoing a major upgrade of its financial systems. This upgrade will impact every department and vendor in some way, making its success a crucial priority for the entire City. The required changes to citywide purchasing processes will be managed by the Office of Contract Administration (OCA), whose mission is to support the procurement of the materials, equipment, and services that are essential to providing governmental services for the citizens of San Francisco. It is imperative for OCA to conduct a full review and reform of purchasing processes within the next twelve months in order to implement modifications in advance of rolling out the City’s new financial systems. To help make this transformation as seamless and successful as possible, OCA will partner with Fuse Corps to host an Executive Fellow for one year to support efforts around process analysis, best practice identification, policy development, interdepartmental collaboration, and vendor/community relations.


Starting in October 2015, the Mayor’s Executive Fellow within the Office of Contract Administration (OCA) will begin by working to understand the landscape and current state of purchasing processes across all departments. The Fellow will be required to quickly develop a detailed understanding of various systems and the more than twenty ordinances that impact contracting in San Francisco, while at the same time, maintaining an objective perspective in order to identify opportunities for material improvements throughout the City. The Fellow will also need to become familiar with innovations in procurement reform that are being pioneered in other cities and private industry throughout the country so as to identify creative approaches that could be effective in San Francisco.
With this foundation of knowledge and insights, the Fellow will work closely with OCA staff and other department leaders to review, analyze, and redesign citywide purchasing practices, including the implementation of innovative new technologies and “lean” model approaches. This effort will also entail a full assessment of the City’s legal requirements related to procurement and the development of policy reforms designed to help streamline and enhance processes for all City departments.
Success in this project will be evaluated in terms of the Fellow’s ability to help OCA identify opportunities for process and policy improvements and then to successfully rollout initial reforms through effective interdepartmental and cross-sector partnerships. If successful, this fellowship will significantly enhance both the experience and results of the purchasing process for the City and all those who contract with it.


  • Conduct a thorough review of current processes and best practices – Spend several months becoming oriented with all aspects of citywide purchasing and contracting systems, including the pertinent local ordinances. Interview various department leaders to better understand the similarities and differences in how they approach the purchasing process. Review national literature about procurement reform innovations taking place at the local, state and federal levels; as well as best practices from the private sector that might be applicable to the City’s purchasing system.
  • Document processes and develop recommendations – Document citywide processes within a systems map that allows for a detailed analysis of trends, gaps and opportunities for improvement. Develop specific recommendations for changing processes and policies that will make purchasing more efficient, effective, streamlined and user-friendly for all those involved in the process. Take into account the various requirements of different departments across the City, as well as the vendor perspective and experience of contracting with the City.
  • Develop a rollout plan and begin implementation – Create a sustainable multi-year approach to purchasing reform that includes carefully sequenced phases designed to build momentum and ensure smooth transitions for all key stakeholders. This should include a change management and communications plan, as well as plan for training City employees and vendors on the utilization of new technologies and processes. Begin the rollout process by partnering with a single department, such as the San Francisco International Airport, to pilot proposed reforms and demonstrate the effectiveness of these approaches to help inspire other departments to embrace the opportunity of integrating these new processes.


  • Jaci FongPurchaser and Director, OCA, will supervise the Fellow and serve as the executive champion to ensure that this project achieves its full potential for impact.
  • Cameron LangnerAssistant Director of Purchasing Operations, will work directly with the Fellow on a day-to-day basis to support and oversee progress toward goals.
  • Other key stakeholders who will support and advise the Fellow will include:
  • Naomi KellyCity Administrator
  • Kenneth BukowskiDeputy City Administrator and Chief Financial Officer
  • Adam NguyenBudget and Planning Director, Office of the City Administrator
  • Krista CanellakisDeputy Innovation Officer, Office of Mayor Edwin Lee
  • Miguel GaminoCity Chief Information Officer and Executive Director of the Department of Technology


  • At least 10 years of professional experience in a relevant field, particularly with a strong background in finance, operations, business analysis, systems building and/or management consulting.
  • Ability to quickly get up to speed on complex purchasing processes and policies, ideally including some previous familiarity with procurement management systems.
  • Superior critical thinking and analytical skills; ability to synthesize complex information into clear and concise recommendations; and experience in process design/design thinking.
  • Ability to relate to a variety of diverse audiences with varying interests; strong emotional intelligence and empathy.
  • Excellent stakeholder management skills and the ability to use facilitative leadership techniques to influence people into action without direct reporting authority.
  • Self-motivated, goal-oriented, entrepreneurial leader who is an independent worker; resourceful in creating novel solutions to complex problems; persistent in obtaining information; and able to create direction and movement within potentially ambiguous environments.
  • Flexibility, adaptability, persistence, humility, inclusivity and sensitivity to cultural differences.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills with ease in public presentations.



Visit and click the link for this role to upload a resume and complete the online application questions in lieu of a cover letter. The application process will allow you to indicate interest in more than one fellowship opportunity.  It is not necessary to submit multiple applications. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible, as hiring will be done on a rolling basis and specific opportunities may close quickly.

This role offers the opportunity to work full-time for 12 months as an employee of the City & County of San Francisco with management-level compensation.

The FUSE Fellowship is an equal opportunity program with a core value of incorporating diverse perspectives. We strongly encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply.