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The Government Buys $2 Trillion Worth of Stuff Every Year: Here Are 5 Ways To Do It Better

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The Government Buys $2 Trillion Worth of Stuff Every Year: Here Are 5 Ways To Do It Better

By Raj Sharma and Peter Morrissey

This article originally appeared in Government Executive. Read the article in full here.

Every year, thousands of professionals at all levels of government in the United States execute contracts to buy $2 trillion in public goods and services, ranging from fighter jets to professional services to office supplies. Their work is crucial, yet too often we learn that the public procurement system is at the heart of government breakdowns such as the launch of Healthcare.gov or cost overruns in the development of the F-22 fighter. These headlines lead to grandstanding and finger-pointing, but fail to offer a clear sense of what skills those professionals need to effectively manage taxpayer dollars, and where progress is most needed.

That’s why the Volcker Alliance—launched by Paul A. Volcker to address the challenge of effective execution of public policies and to help rebuild public trust in government—teamed with Censeo Consulting Group and Public Spend Forum to conduct a study to develop a draft competency framework laying out the core skills of an effective procurement workforce. We conducted detailed interviews of 43 leaders with deep experience in the procurement community—including practitioners at all levels, public affairs scholars, private and public sector procurement thought leaders, and government suppliers—to get their impressions on how the workforce is currently performing along that framework.

Read here for full article in Government Executive.

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