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Yesterday, June 20, data intelligence firm Onvia released its second annual Survey of Government Procurement Professionals, which can be downloaded here. This is a US-based report, but as we said last year “while this survey garners intelligence from 500-plus government procurement professionals and agencies in the US, its results are rather telling and are a good benchmark for government practitioners in Europe too. It is useful insight for both buyers and sellers in the business-to-government (B2G) marketplace.”

This year it canvasses 668 government procurement professionals and garners intelligence about progress in key areas of purchasing, from vendor recruitment to turnaround times to quality of service. It is designed for use by “the entire business-to-government (B2G) community, both agency procurement professionals and the government contractors and vendors that sell to these agencies and seek to better understand their customers.”

This year’s results show that nearly 40 percent of public sector buyers report being overworked – up 4 percent from last year’s survey. This is mostly due to the absence of adequate staffing resources. Buyers also report struggling to find the time to perform the research needed to author well-written bids and RFPs. In fact this was cited as their number-one issue. As the press release states they are “having to comply with multiple layers of rules and regulations and lacking specific knowledge of the items they are procuring, forcing them to operate in a reactive mode rather than planning proactively.”

This year’s report features the Procurement Performance Index (PPI), a custom measurement developed by Onvia’s market research team. The three inputs of the index take into account survey questions related to response agility, customer service and having a reputation for integrity and transparency in the buying process. What’s interesting is that while the PPI found procurement performance to have fallen by around 5 percent from last year, staff working extra hours has risen by 4 percent. And Response Agility saw the biggest downgrade this year.

Another area in the spotlight this year is stakeholder engagement. Coincidentally, or not, this also came up as an overriding issue in the global Future Purchasing category management report earlier this year. You can request the whole report here if you are interested.

So – key areas identified as in need of improvement are:

  • Increased funding for procurement teams
  • Better engagement with key stakeholders
  • More efficient purchasing methods
  • Increased adoption of e-Procurement

That all sounds pretty applicable to European public procurement too, can’t see any public sector procurer arguing with any of those.

As we said about the last report, it is a very well laid-out report and easy to navigate. Each section shows two sets of findings: one from the perspective of government professionals and one from the contractor or vendor. So it’s easy to see which implications are relevant to you. It holds lots of interesting analysis and gives some useful recommendations (wherever you are based).

The report can be downloaded quickly and easily for free here:

Survey of Government Procurement Professionals

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