Competitive Sourcing in Government

Competitive sourcing is, in its broadest definition, about asking a wide selection of providers for a quote for particular goods and services. It is a valuable mechanism for identifying price improvements, efficiency gains, quality improvement, and improved public satisfaction. These benefits, in fact, provide the rationale for adopting competitive sourcing.

While competitive sourcing has been used in a variety of forms by many governments, it should not be confused with privatization, public-private partnerships, or other terms applied to the purchase of government goods and services.

For competitive sourcing to be appreciated and accepted by the public and the private sector, the intent of the initiative needs to be clearly spelled out at the beginning and observed throughout the competitive bidding process. The government should remain impartial with regard to the ultimate successful bidder, and its focus should remain on the purchase of the best goods and services for the task being subjected to competition.

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