Budget Bullets: Procurement
We Can Cut up to $400 Billion from the Budget Over the Next 10 Years by Buying Smarter
SOURCE: AP/J. Scott Applewhite
Congress can cut between $25 billion and $54 billion a year from the federal budget by changing the way it buys and manages goods and services. The cost-saving strategies below have been proven to work in the private and public sectors. Taken together, they represent a fundamental overhaul of how the federal government plans, coordinates, and monitors its purchasing activities.
We can avoid wasteful spending through better procurement planning
- The government should regularly assess its needs so it doesn’t buy too much.
- It should generally buy "off the shelf" products instead of expensive custom-made ones.
- Officials must coordinate their purchases across government to get volume discounts and negotiate better deals. We can cut costs through smarter negotiation and contract management.
- We must eliminate bureaucratic hurdles to attract more bidders and increase competition.
- We must better train procurement officials, so they are skilled negotiators with extensive knowledge of bidders and the costs associated with products and services.
- We must keep pushing for cost savings even after a contract is signed.
We can save more than $1 billion a year by ramping up contract auditing
- Every federal dollar spent on procurement auditing saves the government more than $5, according to the Defense Contract Audit Agency.
- And yet even as federal procurement spending more than doubled over the past decade, the number of full-time contract auditors rose by less than 20 percent.
- The audit agency’s annual budget should be increased to $840 million to match the growth in procurement spending. This will generate net savings of more than $1 billion.
John Griffith is a Research Associate with the Doing What Works project at American Progress.
To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:
Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or email@example.com
Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or email@example.com
Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues, TalkPoverty.org, faith)
202.478.5328 or email@example.com
Print: Benton Strong (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.481.8142 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Spanish-language and ethnic media: Jennifer Molina
202.796.9706 or email@example.com
TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Radio: Sally Tucker
202.482.8103 or email@example.com