Department of Procurement 


Our goal in the Department of Procurement is to provide you with the best options to purchase the goods and services your school needs at the highest quality for the best price. This is why we have contracted with a set of strategic suppliers, which we hold accountable to a high standard as outlined in their district contract.

Furthermore, the Department commits to attain the goals of the Board’s Minority and Women Business
Enterprise (M/WBE) policy, which are currently set at 7 percent and 30 percent, respectively, for women
and minority-owned businesses.

Focus Areas

Source: Perform the administrative tasks that ensure full compliance with legal requirements for all sourcing activities. Provide guidance to end-user departments on the most appropriate way to source their needs and provide continual support during the life of any resulting contracts.

Negotiate: Go beyond minimum requirements to drive year over year savings with a commitment to $100m in savings over 3 years (FY13-FY15) by developing category strategies and by negotiating the best deals with suppliers for each addressable spend category.

Optimize: Build sustainable procurement excellence by working on streamlining internal processes and creating the framework to pro-actively engage our schools and our key suppliers on a year-over-year continuous improvement program.

Recent Accomplishments

Chicago Public Schools 2013-18 Action Plan

Pillar 4 – Committed and Effective Teachers, Leaders and Staff

  • Built the foundation for sustainable procurement excellence by improving the procurement organization:
    • Defined and stuck to a comprehensive 3 year strategic framework built around procurement excellence with a $100m saving target over 3-years and a 3-step roadmap to the procurement process
    • Organized department structure to implement new approach
    • Developed and implemented internal training to enhance analytic, project management, and negotiating skills for buyers and category managers

Pillar 5 – Sound Fiscal, Operational and Accountability Systems

  • Changed the way CPS does procurement:
    • Achieved $39 m in savings in FY13 by working with departments and ATK consultants to renegotiate contracts, issue new RFPs, and develop a cost mindset
      • Examples of significant savings include office supplies, transportation, construction, healthcare, and electricity
    • Created new, streamlined 3-step procurement process (Plan / Source / Validate) and developed the overall district-wide 15-month forecast with the Board Approval Plan (BAP) process
  • Created Supplier Relationship/Performance Management (SR/PM) Program to create true partnerships to lower costs and improve quality:
    • Held quarterly executive review sessions with 18 key suppliers with category-specific scorecards
    • Hosted Annual Supplier Forum on June 11, 2013 at Lane Tech High School, where CPS leadership honored six suppliers for their outstanding performance in 6 select categories, placing a strong emphasis on diversity and quality.
  • Improved school and department relationships:
    • Incorporated sourcing plan into all school and network CIWP’s to increase visibility in school needs and support school planning to reduce any potential procurement process pain points
    • Launched CPS Marketplace (e-commerce shopping tool) in Oracle: the shopping tool brings visibility to the CPS contracted items, reduces the amount of administrative work  in order to make school purchases, and supports departments/schools to make the right decisions and lower overall costs

Resources for External Vendors

Resources for Internal Staff

  • For a list of all current strategic source vendors, please visit
  • To access the internal staff website, please visit
  • For more information or to submit a CPOR for your department or school, please visit
  • Sign up for a Procurement training class on CPSU or by calling the School Support Center (SSC) at 773-535-5800
  • To access all Board Approval Plan Documents, please click here2
  • To view and download a copy of the most recent 2013 Principal Handbook, please visit the Knowledge Center2
  • All school general inquiries can be fielded by your local SSC location at 773-535-5800
  • To visit the Grants Management website, please click here2
  • To visit the Management and Budget website, please click here

1 Please note this website link is for CPS staff. All staff would need to be logged in to their CPS Google Mail account to access the feedback form.

2 Please note these files are only accessible while logged into the CPS Network.


Department of Procurement

773-553-2280 | Main
773-553-2251 | Fax
42 W. Madison St., Chicago, IL 60602

Related Links

View vendor contracts

Page Last Modified on Thursday, December 01, 2016