What’s Causing State and Local Government Procurement Efforts to Struggle?

Frederick, Maryland City Hall

Frederick, Maryland City Hall


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Government officials reported declines in response time, customer service and reputation regarding bids and RFPs, according to a new performance index.

Insufficient time to prepare bids and requests for proposal, limited staff and difficulties collaborating were the three biggest challenges cited in Onvia’s 2017 Survey of Government Procurement Professionals.

The Seattle-based business intelligence company’s Procurement Performance Index, measuring state and local government agencies’ overall effectiveness in providing purchasing services, fell from 76.4 in 2016 to 72.6 percent as a result.

Response agility, customer service and reputation all factor into the index and all fell over the last year, response time the farthest at 6.2.

“Smart governments recognize that strategic investments in their procurement teams translate into more value for the citizens they serve,” said Ben Vaught, Onvia for Government director, in a statement.

Successful procurement teams saw their funding increased, engaged better with stakeholders, used more efficient purchasing methods, and adopted some form of e-Procurement. Nearly 40 percent of government procurement professionals has implemented e-Procurement to cut down on processing times, according to the report.

Time-constrained buyers require more information on purchasing processes up front.

Four out of every 10 agencies reported failing to attract enough bids, a slight improvement on last year. But it remains an area requiring greater state and local government attention.

Dave Nyczepir is a News Editor with Government Executive’s Route Fifty and is based in Washington D.C.

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