Procurement – Discontinue Advertising Contracts in Newspapers

Savings: $100,000

Currently, the City pays the Chicago Sun-Times to advertise contracting opportunities, legal notices, and various City activities.[1]

Under this option, the City would discontinue the practice of advertising these notices in newspapers and instead publicize these notices on its website.  The average annual spending on this contact over the last 3-and-a-half years was $107,000.[2]  Thus, eliminating this contract and publicizing these notices via the Internet would save the City approximately $100,000 annually.

Implementing this option would require changes in State and City law. Publication in a newspaper is required by state law – the IL Municipal Purchasing Act, 65 ILCS 5/8-10-7 and municipal ordinance 2-92-290 which states that the Chief Procurement Officer (CPO) shall annually solicit bids from newspapers to publish the required notices.

Proponents might argue that given the widespread use of the Internet and the declining readership of daily newspapers, the City should discontinue this practice and publicize these notices on its website.  Additionally, the publication of these notices is typically in small print making it extremely difficult to read and users probably access the City’s website for the information anyway.


Opponents might argue that there is a well-documented divide in Internet access within Chicago. People in poorer communities are less likely to have easy access to the internet, and therefore may be at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to accessing information that is only posted on the Internet.


Budget Details

Dept: Procurement, 035 Bureau: NA
Fund: Corporate, 0100 Approp Code: Advertising, 0152
The appropriation is on various pages including page 88 of the 2011 Annual Appropriation Ordinance.


[1] Contract Number 17148 (pg. 77 for specifications).