Volume 7, Number 2, 2007

Engagement versus Disengagement: How Structural and Commercially-Based Regulatory Changes Have Increased Government Risks in Federal Acquisitions …………………………...............................................................................……. 135
E. C. Yoder

Flexible Procurement Approaches That Facilitate Relationship Change and Negotiation: The Use of The Invitation to Negotiate 173
W. C. Lawther

Strategic Procurement in UK Local Government: The Role of Elected Members ………………………………. 194
J. G. Murray

Imitating Private Business in Public Procurement: Swedish ‘Affärsmässigt’ ………………..…………………… 213
K. Åström and J. Bröchner

USEFUL REPRINTS

District of Columbia: Procurement System Needs Major Reform 229
U. S. Government Accountability Office

BOOK REVIEW

Advancing Public Procurement: Practices, Innovation and Knowledge-Sharing ……………………………..… 280
W. C. Lawther

ABSTRACT. To improve acquisition outcomes, in 1997 the District established the Office of Contracting and Procurement under the direction of a newly created chief procurement officer (CPO). Since then, the District's inspector general and auditor have identified improper contracting practices. This report examines whether the District's procurement system is based on procurement law and management and oversight practices that incorporate generally accepted key principles to protect against fraud, waste, and abuse. GAO's work is based on a review of generally accepted key principles identified by federal, state, and local procurement laws, regulations, and guidance. GAO also reviewed District audit reports and discussed issues with current and former District officials as well as select state and local officials.

ABSTRACT. The effectiveness of innovative procurement practices, illustrated at the US federal level by Performance Based Service Contracting and other best value approaches, depends upon changes in the public procurement organizational culture. These changes require agency officials to establish new relationships with contractors, as the challenges of acquiring complex as well as highly customized goods/services is best met through flexibility and negotiation throughout the life of the acquisition. Using procurement approaches that provide maximum flexibility provide challenges to public managers, as choices regarding negotiation include the content as well as the intensity and duration of negotiation sessions. The use of the Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) approach by the State of Florida is one example of an approach that allows flexibility and facilitates different relationships with contractors. Two case studies, from the Departments of Transportation and Management Services illustrate the use of ITN.

ABSTRACT. While implementing the EC Procurement Directives in Swedish legislation, there remains a reference to ‘business-like’ (affärsmässig) practice as an external system of norms. The problem is that the term a. might contradict non-economic considerations in the award of contracts. Municipal procurement is often managed by professionals with limited legal expertise, and diverging practices are found. In recent years, the term a. has spread to court practice in other fields and even to one act belonging to private law. The term a. appears as a chameleon, since when used in a context of private law, it conveys a sense of transparency and objectivity traditionally associated with the operation of the legal system rather than with private business practices.

ABSTRACT. The purpose of this working paper is to highlight the challenges and associated risks Federal contracting officers face while conducting business under commercially-based contracting legislation and, with concurrent reductions in the acquisition workforce, the potential risks these changes place on the taxpayer. The researcher’s thorough review of published articles, along with collegiate discussions with prominent practitioners and academics indicates that the Federal Government may be exposed to increased risks due to recent commercial-practice legislation and structural changes in the acquisition work force. The past decade-long wave of acquisition work-force reductions and commercially inspired acquisition reforms has created a responsive and progressive business environment. Yet, it has done so at the cost of the Federal government becoming less “engaged” in key oversight and management functions. This disengagement may be exposing Federal contracting officers and taxpayers to greater financial, programmatic and performance risks.

ABSTRACT. This paper is concerned with the potential role of elected members in the UK local government strategic procurement process. Strategic procurement and the best value regime are discussed. A working definition of strategic procurement in local government is then provided. The rationale for councils to review member involvement in strategic procurement follows. Observations from action learning case studies are discussed prior to proposals being offered as to what might represent appropriate new roles for elected members in the UK local government strategic procurement process.

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