Volume 3, Number 3, 2003

CONTENTS

Invitation to Negotiate: Determining the Boundaries of Innovative Source Selection ..................................................................... 301
W. C. Lawther

Vendor Diversity in Public Sector Purchasing: The Case of the Florida Department of Health ...................................................... 320
S. A. Watson, R. G. Brooks, T. Arnold, K. Mason and C. McEachron

The Proper Use of Offsets in International Procurement ................................................................................................................. 338
T. K. Taylor

The Impact of Public Firms Commercialisation on Purchasing Management .................................................................................. 357
A. Ancarani

China’s Legal Framework for Public Procurement ........................................................................................................................... 370
R. Rothery


USEFUL REPRINTS

Federal Procurement: Better Guidance and Monitoring Needed to Assess Purchases of Environmentally Friendly Products ....... 390
U.S. General Accounting Office


BOOK REVIEW

A History of Government Contracting ............................................................................................................................................... 416
P. Nguyen

ABSTRACT. The federal government buys about $200 million worth of goods and services each year. Through its purchasing decisions, the federal government can signal its commitment to preventing pollution, reducing solid waste, increasing recycling, and stimulating markets for environmentally friendly products. The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 (RCRA) directs the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to identify products made with recycled waste materials or solid waste by-products and to develop guidance for purchasing these products. The act also requires procuring agencies to establish programs for purchasing them. This report examines efforts by federal agencies to (1) implementation of RCRA requirements for procuring products with recycled content and (2) the purchase of environmentally preferable and bio-based products. EPA accelerated its efforts in the 1990s to identify recycled-content products, but the status of agencies' efforts to implement the RCRA purchasing requirements for these products is uncertain. The four major procuring agencies report that, for many reasons, their procurement practices have not changed to increase their purchases of environmentally preferable and bio-based products. One reason for the lack of change is that EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture have been slow to develop and implement the programs.

ABSTRACT. Purchasing management has been recently focused by public organisations aiming to maximise its contribution to operations. Such an aspect has been emphasised by the impacts of on going commercialisation process in the network public service sector. This paper provides evidence of changes in purchasing management behaviour in public firms in the water supply sector. In particular, in Italy the firms, after a first phase of increasing attention to purchasing management and suppliers selection, slowly has come back to a clerical approach, maintaining an “arms-length” relationship with suppliers. A model for describing the oscillation of purchasing management within the firms is presented and an explanation of such an oscillation is suggested in terms of flow of power between technical management and political managers.

ABSTRACT. Since the mid 1990s, the Government of China has been developing the regulations, laws, and implementing procedures necessary to bring public procurement under a comprehensive administrative and legal framework. This paper traces the history of its development and explains the motivations: improved quality of public projects, increased transparency, development of national standards, and the relationship with trade. It describes the unique aspects and challenges of China’s procurement system, notably the existence of two laws (the Tendering and Bidding Law and the Government Procurement Law), the influences of social and economic policy, and the use of procurement agents. The paper concludes with an assessment of future needs to consolidate the various procurement-related laws, develop implementing regulations, disseminate information, and strengthen the oversight function.

ABSTRACT. This article explores the use of a quality management model by a public sector agency to implement a socially responsible purchasing initiative related to minority diversity of the vendor pool. There is a description and discussion of the use of a quality management model for planning and implementing the initiative with a focus on changing organizational culture and reinforcing organizational policy priorities. The initial success of the initiative in increasing total contracted dollars to minorities suggests that a quality management implementation model is a useful approach for initiating a socially responsible policy within an organization.

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