We at Public Spend Forum devote a focused portion of our time and effort engaging with senior procurement executives across the public sector, both informally and also as part of our “Global Leaders Exchange” (for senior public procurement leaders) which convenes quarterly.
A key theme highlighted by senior public procurement officials is the need to do a better job of infusing innovation into public procurement to better achieve mission outcomes. The Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton have teamed up to share their thoughts and specific recommendations on how public procurement functions can create an environment to better realize innovative outcomes.
What are key takeaways?
The Partnership for Public Service and Booz Allen Hamilton present their specific recommendations on creating a culture for innovation in public procurement, grouped into 3 key themes as summarized below. The article goes into more context and description around each theme and recommendation.
- “Building the Best Team”
- Agencies can benefit from cross-functional teams with diverse representation from the public and private sector
- “Industry days” should be expanded to include partnership-building across sectors
- To foster a better partnership across sectors, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy should expand the Acquisition 360 process to include iterative reviews and checkpoints through the entire acquisition process. Outcomes of the acquisition should be measured and reviewed by different sector representatives
- “Using the Full Playbook”
- Agencies should recognize that failing fast can lead to innovative outcomes. As such, they should seek ways to quickly pivot or move on building milestone reviews and sunset clauses throughout the contract lifecycle
- Where useful, contracts should include some type of staged, or modular contracting, o agencies can assess contract performance and make adjustments if necessary
- Congress and OMB should help agencies by expanding existing authorities
- “Calling the Right Plays”
- Acquisition professionals need to be trained in partnership building and other skills that foster innovation
- Agency leaders should prioritize filling the position of chief procurement officer and hold that person accountable for establishing a culture of innovation
- Leaders should encourage employees to take risks and find innovative ways to meet mission requirements
Image Courtesy of Geralt