Bloomberg on cities’ procurement challenges

I’m passing along this article from Bloomberg on the top ten procurement challenges cities face.

Of particular interest to me is #7, managing very large contracts where there is very little competition. Federally, it seems since CICA there’s been a focus on maximizing competition to achieve best value, emphasizing receiving multiple proposals over negotiation and performance and contract management. IDIQs are rarely single award, for example. I tend to believe that government contracting professionals view competition without negotiation as a safer way to “check the box” and avoid protests on the grounds of unequal exchange of information between government and a deal’s various offerors.

That this has been identified as a problem at the local level suggests this may be a competency issue, rather than one brought on by the federal regulatory framework (though my guess is the latter contributed to the former for the U.S. government).

We recently saw a massive unilateral contract action on the F-35 program. The attention that brought in media (OK, trade media) suggests it’s the exception that proves the rule, and that the buy-side mostly views postaward contract management as “administrative” paper pushing. Depending on the competitive environment for a requirement, this may leave value on the table.

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Jason Bakke
Proposal Manager
Censeo Consulting Group (Censeo)
Washington DC
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Replies

  1. Helen – pooling buying power is definitely the “low hanging fruit” if you can bring together various stakeholders.  Other benefits include standardization of requirements which should ultimately lower costs for suppliers.  I also agree on the “vested” approach as new and innovative as it aligns goals and creates a “win-win” mentality.

    ——————————
    Raj Sharma
    Public Spend Forum
    Washington DC
    ————————————————————————-
    Original Message:
    Sent: 12-22-2016 03:24
    From: HELEN MACKENZIE
    Subject: Bloomberg on cities’ procurement challenges

    Lots of food for thought in this article and identifies challenges that we’ve been working on here in Scotland.  The issue of a single supplier in the market doesn’t just affect cities – it can be an issue with smaller remote/rural based public bodies too – we’ve had a range to deal with from IT systems to the provision of residential services for vulnerable children.  We’ve used collaborative contracts where we can working with other public bodies to pool buying power as a tool to help shift the balance of power back towards the buyer from the supplier.  
    Another interesting development is the use of the vested approach being developed by Kate Vitasek at the University of Tennessee.  This is an attempt to implement a win-win approach which might be a good way to approach this single suppier issue particularly if the contract is strategically important.

    ——————————
    HELEN MACKENZIE
    Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
    Scottish Local Government
    ————————————————————————-
    Original Message:
    Sent: 11-23-2016 09:52
    From: Jason Bakke
    Subject: Bloomberg on cities’ procuremernt challenges

    I’m passing along this article from Bloomberg on the top ten procurement challenges cities face.

    Of particular interest to me is #7, managing very large contracts where there is very little competition. Federally, it seems since CICA there’s been a focus on maximizing competition to achieve best value, emphasizing receiving multiple proposals over negotiation and performance and contract management. IDIQs are rarely single award, for example. I tend to believe that government contracting professionals view competition without negotiation as a safer way to “check the box” and avoid protests on the grounds of unequal exchange of information between government and a deal’s various offerors.

    That this has been identified as a problem at the local level suggests this may be a competency issue, rather than one brought on by the federal regulatory framework (though my guess is the latter contributed to the former for the U.S. government).

    We recently saw a massive unilateral contract action on the F-35 program. The attention that brought in media (OK, trade media) suggests it’s the exception that proves the rule, and that the buy-side mostly views postaward contract management as “administrative” paper pushing. Depending on the competitive environment for a requirement, this may leave value on the table.

    ——————————
    Jason Bakke
    Proposal Manager
    Censeo Consulting Group (Censeo)
    Washington DC
    ——————————

    0
  2. Great commentary Jason, Helen!  I agree overall that going to lots more “competitive contracts” at the task level is taking the easy route out.  Government often believes competition will solve all other issues but that is not the case. We are creating other problems by increasing overall worklaod etc.  Instead, what we need is better ability to select suppliers upfront, develop strong performance criteria linked to outcomes, and ensure strong cost analysis skills are in place so government can negotiate effectively.  

    ——————————
    Raj Sharma
    Public Spend Forum
    Washington DC
    ————————————————————————-
    Original Message:
    Sent: 11-23-2016 09:52
    From: Jason Bakke
    Subject: Bloomberg on cities’ procurement challenges

    I’m passing along this article from Bloomberg on the top ten procurement challenges cities face.

    Of particular interest to me is #7, managing very large contracts where there is very little competition. Federally, it seems since CICA there’s been a focus on maximizing competition to achieve best value, emphasizing receiving multiple proposals over negotiation and performance and contract management. IDIQs are rarely single award, for example. I tend to believe that government contracting professionals view competition without negotiation as a safer way to “check the box” and avoid protests on the grounds of unequal exchange of information between government and a deal’s various offerors.

    That this has been identified as a problem at the local level suggests this may be a competency issue, rather than one brought on by the federal regulatory framework (though my guess is the latter contributed to the former for the U.S. government).

    We recently saw a massive unilateral contract action on the F-35 program. The attention that brought in media (OK, trade media) suggests it’s the exception that proves the rule, and that the buy-side mostly views postaward contract management as “administrative” paper pushing. Depending on the competitive environment for a requirement, this may leave value on the table.

    ——————————
    Jason Bakke
    Proposal Manager
    Censeo Consulting Group (Censeo)
    Washington DC
    ——————————

    0
  3. Lots of food for thought in this article and identifies challenges that we’ve been working on here in Scotland.  The issue of a single supplier in the market doesn’t just affect cities – it can be an issue with smaller remote/rural based public bodies too – we’ve had a range to deal with from IT systems to the provision of residential services for vulnerable children.  We’ve used collaborative contracts where we can working with other public bodies to pool buying power as a tool to help shift the balance of power back towards the buyer from the supplier.  
    Another interesting development is the use of the vested approach being developed by Kate Vitasek at the University of Tennessee.  This is an attempt to implement a win-win approach which might be a good way to approach this single suppier issue particularly if the contract is strategically important.

    ——————————
    HELEN MACKENZIE
    Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
    Scottish Local Government
    ————————————————————————-
    Original Message:
    Sent: 11-23-2016 09:52
    From: Jason Bakke
    Subject: Bloomberg on cities’ procuremernt challenges

    I’m passing along this article from Bloomberg on the top ten procurement challenges cities face.

    Of particular interest to me is #7, managing very large contracts where there is very little competition. Federally, it seems since CICA there’s been a focus on maximizing competition to achieve best value, emphasizing receiving multiple proposals over negotiation and performance and contract management. IDIQs are rarely single award, for example. I tend to believe that government contracting professionals view competition without negotiation as a safer way to “check the box” and avoid protests on the grounds of unequal exchange of information between government and a deal’s various offerors.

    That this has been identified as a problem at the local level suggests this may be a competency issue, rather than one brought on by the federal regulatory framework (though my guess is the latter contributed to the former for the U.S. government).

    We recently saw a massive unilateral contract action on the F-35 program. The attention that brought in media (OK, trade media) suggests it’s the exception that proves the rule, and that the buy-side mostly views postaward contract management as “administrative” paper pushing. Depending on the competitive environment for a requirement, this may leave value on the table.

    ——————————
    Jason Bakke
    Proposal Manager
    Censeo Consulting Group (Censeo)
    Washington DC
    ——————————

    0
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