Mayor Walsh announces improved access to BRA board actions & contract award
May 14, 2014
Today Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced the recent implementation of several online services at the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) that will contribute to ongoing changes to the agency’s accessibility, transparency, and operational efficiencies. New technology improves access to BRA Board meeting votes, city zoning, and available and awarded bids and contracts, and delivers up-to-the-minute metrics about Boston development.
“The BRA is making critical changes to its information management systems to make the agency operations more accessible,” said Mayor Walsh. “These advancements are increasing transparency and opening up the doors of the BRA business to the public.”
BRA Board Meetings
The BRA Board meeting agenda and associated board memos are now available 48 hours in advance of the monthly meeting. Board memos outline the final details of development projects, planning studies, development designations, and other BRA business that the Board is authorized to take action on. This change will ensure the public is notified of the final details of a development project ahead of a vote. The next BRA Board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 15.
Allowing viewers to follow BRA Board meeting business more easily online, the agenda and board memos are now associated with a live video feed that is available via City of Boston TV. Following the meeting, all board documents will be time tracked to the recorded meeting video for the public to easily navigate and jump to agenda items post-meeting to review the board proceedings. All 2014 meetingsare now available in the new “agenda management” format.
Bids and Contracts
Access to the BRA’s awarded and available RFP/RFQ/BID contracts online has been improved and expanded. An upgrade to the contract search tool enables the public to search and filter RFP/RFQ/BID contracts by status of the project. This feature will better connect the public and development- and construction-related businesses to potential project opportunities in construction, engineering, design, and other fields. In addition, it will improve transparency around the companies being selected for contracts.
Companies will also have the ability to enlist in an email service providing updates when new RFP/RFQ/BID contracts become available. Sub-contractor registration will be created for prime contractors and consultants to reference the register and seek business from a sub-contractor of a particular trade. This is an effort from the City to encourage all applicable companies to participate in project opportunities.
Boston About Results
The BRA is now sharing metrics about development in Boston, including the total value of projects that are currently under construction and in the pipeline, on the Boston About Results (BAR) page of the City of Boston website. The information will be displayed with open data graphs and metrics and will appear alongside the data of several other City of Boston agencies. The platform includes additional metrics such as total square footage of development under construction in Boston, construction jobs created by new development, and total construction costs for all BRA Board-approved projects.
The updated BRA Zoning Viewer gives additional access to zoning and planning information for any area of the city, giving clear access to zoning layers, base layers, boundary layers, regulated layers, and planning layers.