Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Tensions of Public Procurement

There are five competing objectives in public procurement that often create tensions for those responsible for managing the solicitation processes for government agencies: 

Cost:  How can the public agency obtain the best price for goods, services, and construction?

Performance:  How can public agencies ensure that the selected vendor, contractor, or consultant is capable and will provide quality and timely goods and services?  Will they perform as required?

Transparency:  What steps should public agencies take to ensure they conduct a transparent and fair process that does not favor any party over others? 

Expediency:  How can a public agency respond to business needs quickly, efficiently, and competently?

Compliance:  How can public agencies ensure they are in compliance with applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations and best practices for procurement?

All five of these objectives must be at the forefront of the public procurement process.  Because they often conflict with each other, this can create tensions for those responsible for managing the procurement process.
Mike Purdy's Public Contracting Blog
© 2014 by Michael E. Purdy Associates, LLC


Mark Kinsey said...

Mike, I really like the word choice "Tensions" for describing these five objectives. Each of them do cause an uneasiness for the procurement official. I believe you could have easily said "Opportunities" and some would view it as being more optimistic. On another note, I do always like to insert "Value" instead of "Cost". I truly believe that today's public procurement official, for the most part, has moved towards "best value" in lieu of price. Finally, I would add "Customer Fulfillment." It is important that all of the five tensions lead to fulfillment of the customer's needs, right? Thanks for putting this out there. Just more food for thought from a former public procurement official.

Mike Purdy said...

Thanks, Mark, for your good comments and additions to what I wrote.