I was so pleased to read about the Acquisition Reforms Bill sponsored by fellow New Englanders Sens. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). According to this Federal News Radio article, the main gist of the bill is to enable consolidated purchasing at the federal US level. It carries the modest goal of $1 billion savings over four years. As a US citizen and taxpayer, I like this direction becasue we KNOW that sourcing larger lots is almost always cheaper than buying small.
Today, the 100+ US federal agencies often conduct their own bids. There are good reasons for this - one is to preserve opportunities for small businesses. If all agencies got together and chose a single supplier for furniture, PCs or you name it, it clearly would hurt a variety of businesses that currently enjoy the spread of awards. According to the article – the bill has some provisions to avoid this situation. I hope this is true.
Collaborative sourcing shouldn’t be all or nothing anyway. Surely there is a happy medium in between one large, single source federal contract and hundreds of smaller, agency-let agreements.
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