Connecting state and local government leaders
Interagency barriers remain a major problem.
The National Association of State Chief Information Officers called for state information technology procurement reform Thursday, driven by its 2015 survey findings that nearly half of state CIOs dislike current processes.
That perception aligned with previous surveys dating back to 2010, as well as the view of NASCIO’s corporate partners—70 percent dissatisfied with state IT procurement.
A typical complaint: Procurement processes were inconsistent across government agencies.
“True state IT procurement reform will not happen overnight and NASCIO’s five recommendations will not completely fix the problem,” Darryl Ackley, New Mexico’s secretary of technology and NASCIO’s president, said in the organization’s announcement. “State CIOs must work together with their governors, legislatures, chief procurement officials and private sector partners to ensure that states can achieve their vision of digital government and enjoy cost savings, efficiencies and enhanced services for the citizens they serve.”
NASCIO recommended five actions states can take to improve IT procurement:
1) Remove unlimited liability clauses in state terms and conditions. Vendors are beholden to their shareholders, so it’s hard for them to accept unlimited liability with large procurements because they often don’t know what all their possible liabilities are.
2) Introduce more flexible terms and conditions. The map below shows where states stand.
3) Don’t require performance bonds from vendors. They’re hard to come by and some bond companies require companies to partially or fully collateralize performance bonds with bank letters of credit—a barrier to competition.
4) Leverage enterprise architecture for improved IT procurement. Developing an enterprise-wide approach to procurement that removes silos and encourages communication between government agencies can lower the costs of business, information and technological improvements.
5) Improve the negotiations process. Complex contract negotiations are costly and may put government at odds with the vendor they awarded the procurement.
Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor at Government Executive’s Route Fifty.