In order to keep up with online marketplaces available at the “one touch” of a smartphone, the federal government is doing its part to bring its procurement process into the digital age.
Legislation passed earlier this year by the House of Representatives would allow the U.S. military and civilian government agencies to buy products directly from new online marketplaces instead of following the current procurement process for purchases above the “micro-purchase” threshold (i.e., a few thousand dollars).
The newly proposed process would present many opportunities for online retailers and marketplaces and is seen by supporters as a way to drive down prices for the government. However, such a transition would create many compliance and regulatory issues likely introducing new costs; and opponents, such as Steve Ellis, the vice president of advocacy group Taxpayers for Common Sense, argue that it will foster a less competitive environment and create waste.
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