Can buying in bulk really save the money its advocates say? Some of those advocates spent a few hours on The Hill on July 15, 2013 trying to convince skeptical senators that it can.
Dan Tangherlini, administrator of the General Services Administration, and Joseph Jordan, administrator of the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy, testified that such strategic sourcing does indeed offer substantial savings for agencies, and needs to be expanded. Cristina Chaplain, the Government Accountability Office’s director of acquisition and sourcing management, also testified that expanding the practice could reap big federal savings.
Some senators however, questioned how effectively government could adapt long-term to the ideals of bulk buying and leveraging the best price from vendors. They said the ideals wouldn’t take hold without more focused implementation at federal agencies, including such simple things as gathering uniform savings data. “How can we measure savings?” Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) asked.
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