Bill would require greater use of strategic sourcing

Thursday - 10/20/2011, 8:00am EDT

By Jack Moore
Federal News Radio

A trio of senators on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee unveiled a proposal yesterday to reform the federal government's acquisition process.

The Acquisitions Reform Bill, sponsored by Sens. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and the committee chairman, Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), would require more robust use of Federal Strategic Sourcing vehicles — which allow the government to consolidate its shopping lists and buy in bulk, rather than have each agency pursue its own procurements.

The General Services Administration already uses strategic sourcing for office supplies and telecommunications equipment, among others. Presumably the new bill would require the government to go further. A release from Brown's office says the legislation sets a target of $1 billion over four years through the use of expanded strategic sourcing, alone.

The bill would also call for greater use of reverse auctions, where companies aim to submit the lowest bid that meets all requirements.

Collins called both methods "proven cost-saving approaches."

In the release Brown said, the government, like many families would have to start stretching its dollars further.

"When the federal government purchases goods and services, it must focus on getting the best possible price and make purchases in the most efficient manner," he said.