The Lens has assembled a library of more than 5,300 contracts signed by the city of New Orleans.

You can search them here.

Unlike the city’s website, our service makes the entire text of these contracts searchable. This makes it easy for you to find contracts that refer to playgrounds, for instance, or streetlights.

You can browse recently uploaded contracts or search all of them.

The Lens does not track any searches conducted with this service.

How to read a contract

The Lens’ Charles Maldonado has written a primer to help you decipher these documents.

Notable city departments

  • Aviation: Airport contracts.
  • New Orleans Building Corporation: Generally management contracts and leases involving property controlled by the Building Corporation, which includes most things owned by the city, such as the French Market, Crescent Park and the former World Trade Center building.
  • Blight: Includes demolition contracts.
  • Defense Base Closure and Realignment Commission: Agreements dealing with Federal City in Algiers and and the former Naval Support Activity site in Bywater.
  • CAO: Stands for Chief Administrative Office. Like the office’s role in city governance, this is a catch-all for a variety of contracts, including consultants.
  • Capital Project: All contracts related to the capital budget, including large expenditures for major projects.
  • City Planning: Includes contracts related to the development of the Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance.
  • Disaster CDBG Unit: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s disaster recovery grants go through this office.
  • Economic Development: Includes tourism-related contracts, Office of Supplier Diversity (which oversees the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program), and economic development such as the city’s agreement with Costco.
  • Facilities, Infrastructure and Community Development: Includes some demolition contracts, as well as agreements related to the city’s corridor revitalization projects.
  • Finance: Accounting, auditing, city banking services, and the like.
  • Fire Department
  • Health Department: Includes many relatively small contracts with nonprofits to provide HIV/AIDS and drug rehab services.
  • Human Resources: Includes employee benefits and health care, though some of that also falls under the Chief Administrative Office.
  • Homeland Security: Anything related to hazard mitigation, such as home elevations, and emergencies. This department handles police contracts, including the New Orleans/Jefferson Parish intergovernmental intelligence unit.
  • Office of Inspector General: The city’s watchdog agency has contracts for investigative consultants, legal services, grant agreements and its office in the New Orleans Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  • IT – Office of Technology: This office handled the Ciber contract, which was part of the criminal case against former Mayor Ray Nagin. Now it includes many agreements for software and the city’s 311 service.
  • Law: Contracts with outside law firms.
  • Mayor: Like the Chief Administrative Office, this could include any number of things.
  • Police Department
  • Property Management: Sales of city property.
  • Public Works: Road and drainage work.
  • NORD Recreation Department: Parks programming.
  • Sanitation Department: Trash collection contracts.
  • Human Services: Pretrial services and contracts related to the NOPD consent decree monitor are handled through this office.

How this works

The city of New Orleans regularly posts new contracts on its website. We check the website periodically, download new ones and upload them to a service called DocumentCloud, which makes the entire text searchable and makes it easy to organize them.

What’s next

We’ll add contracts from other government agencies in the future.

Find something interesting?

Let us know. We’d love to hear how this helped you.

This service is made possible in part with the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and readers like you. Donate today to support this work.