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Despite City Law, New Orleans’ Hasn’t Had Public Contract Database Since 2019 Cyber Attack

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Michael Isaac Stein
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Mayor Latoya Cantrell, city homeland security director Collin Arnold and City Health Department Director Jennifer Avegno at a May 12, 2020 press conference.

Despite a local law requiring the city of New Orleans to post all of its contracts on its website, the city’s public-facing contract database hasn’t worked since December 2019, when the local government was hit with a cyber attack that severely debilitated operations.

At a press conference last month, New Orleans Chief Information Officer Kim LaGrue said that the city had “recovered about 80 percent of our services and applications” since the cyber attack. That 80 percent included the online vendor portal, which allows vendors and suppliers to view contract opportunities and bid on them.

But a public-facing database showing copies of the contracts the city has already signed is still down, in spite of a city law that requires those contracts to be posted online. A link on the city’s website leads to an error message.

“The contracts database is one of the last applications to be recovered post cyber-attack, and we expect to have it fully functional by September,” said LaTonya Norton, a spokesperson for Mayor LaToya Cantrell, in an email to The Lens. “Until then, users can access the procurement website at Nola.gov/purchasing and request information from the procurement office.”

Read more from The Lens.

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